Sunday, December 14th, 2014
The title of this exhibition, Eclipse, refers to Marcie’s relationship to nature through her artwork. The elements of Fire, Water, Air and Light are depicted as Marcie shows what happens when the artistic response is eclipsed by tangible contact with nature at its fullest presence.
At her artists talk at Tractor Works Gallery on November 24th, she talked at length about her trip to the Ignaca Falls which is located at the crux of three Latin American countries: Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The translation of Ignaca is the “Devils Throat” and as Marcie describes it, looking down from a precipice into the Falls was so thrilling and terrifying that it overwhelms all other senses including the auditory sense. She found this encounter so overwhelming that she had to dedicate a series of paintings to the experience. Earlier in her career Marcie had dedicated a series to Water Distillations, the Fire and Solar Distillations are another aspect of the idea, looking for light, looking for intensity in the artist’s relationship with nature. The paintings as they are gathered in this exhibition are strong in ethereal color, rhythm, and light, which is clear evidence of the success she has had in the pursuit of the pure response.
The first impression I had was specifically of the vibrancy and immersion into the elements in each painting. I felt this most intensely with the fire paintings; in how the brush strokes are built up to physically push you back resembling the heat of flames in a bonfire when you get too close. However, she does this also with the light and air paintings, so that each is an in-depth study, an affinity with each element. My favorite ”Falls” painting in this show is “White Vapors” where she builds up the voluptuous undulations in the water, it is like a dance! This is clear evidence of the success she has had in the pursuit of the pure response.
On the wall with the “Devil’s Throat” paintings she includes studies from the “Solar Distillations” series as well as a 911 Memorial tribute painting. It may seem that this subject would be out of context, yet as Marcie describes it, the effect of visiting Ground Zero in New York is very similar to her response to the natural elements, it is just as overwhelming and astonishing to experience the atmosphere there and ponder what happened in that place. There are a considerable variety of images in this show, which depict the feelings and spark inspiration in the mind and heart of the artist. Perhaps, the subject of inspiration should be approached in more artwork if the results were like this!
It’s not all rushing intensity though because she includes small delicate drawings of foliage, textural paintings on paper and abstract paintings about her complex relationship with her father.
Soderman has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows for twenty years. She has taught art, art history, and women in art for over 25 years at the University of Minnesota, Hamline University and other area colleges. While a professional in museum education Soderman curated many exhibitions. Her work has been published in major arts journals including Studio Visit and International Contemporary Artists. She has been featured twice in Twin Cities TOSCA magazine and in August she received the Award of Excellence at the TOSCA/Maple Grove Arts Center exhibition, Beyond Minnesota Nice, juried by photographer Will Agar.
Soderman’s artwork is in many private and public collections, including the Art Collection of Boynton Health Services at the University of Minnesota. Her work can be seen at Boynton Health Services, in the online gallery of MetroInteriors.com,. Commissions are accepted. Solderman has also served as a Mentor in the WARM Mentor Protégé Program.
“The branching of trees, synapses firing, light beaming, the rhythm of water lapping on the shore, the constant beating of the heart. It all speaks of life. Pattern, repetition, change. The microscopic and the macroscopic echo each other remarkably in movement and form, in the gathering of force and the dissolution of form, and in the replication of these processes over and over again. The act of drawing, painting—mark-making—is a process of life.”
Review by Debra Ripp
Monday, May 12th, 2014
The spring weekend of April 25 – 27 was filled with sunshine, rain, and spectacular WARM art at the Tilsner Co-op Artists Lofts in Lowertown Saint Paul.
Photographer Sui Conrad only shows her work twice a year in the Twin Cities, and loved showing with other new members at WARM @ the Tilsner adding, “My photos are part of an MFA series and I’m glad to have the chance to show at Art Crawl with WARM!”
WARM will present one or two additional pop-up shows in 2014, inviting different groups of members to participate. Know a venue that would make a great pop-up space? Please email and let me know!
Photos by Jeanne Souldern
Tags: Amy Sands, Aneesa Erinn Adams, Ann Sisel, Anne Kramer, Linda Snouffer, Linda Webster, Lowertown Saint Paul, Mary Steinson, Peggy Wright, St Paul Art Crawl, Sui Conrad, Terra Rathai, Tilsner Co-op Artists Lofts, Vanessa Merry, WARM, women artists
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Monday, November 18th, 2013
From the WARM Coffee session: by Debra Ripp
Polly Norman refines her vision by shooting through the kind of glass blocks which have traditionally functioned as a standard of business architecture, the result are called “Pollygraphs”. These “Pollygraphs” are her most recent work and are featured in her 25 year retrospective at the Minneapolis Photo Center. The exhibition is complemented by a dazzling book of photographs titled “Dances Through Glass”. The book is available from Polly at her website: http://www.pollynormanart.com/book
Polly’s six year study of drawing and painting at Atelier
Studio Program of Fine Art coincided with her photographic studies of classical dancers. Norman used various photographic filters for those dance works. She then discovered the beauty inherent in glass block by accident at a health club in Chicago. This discovery led her to pure abstractions and floral assemblages shot through Pennsylvania glass block. The glass blocks affect forms both to alter and abstract objects in a lyrical mode.
This might suggest an easy transition but this is not the case. There were plenty of challenges both in the darkroom and in the field. Polly attributes some of the success to her vision to her experience with bi-polar disorder. The stigma around bi-polar disorder still exists and Norman is now a mental health advocate through NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness). Part of NAMI’s mission us to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Sunday, July 7th, 2013
By Debra Ripp
Bettye Olson Howard, Laurie R. Johnson, Debra Ripp, Karen Searle and Ann Meany are all WARM members but their other connection is that they all have a studio home in the Dow building. The Dow building is located at 2242 University Avenue West and Hampden Avenue in St. Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone. On May 11 a tour of their studios was the focus of the May WARM Coffee. Each artist gave a 15-20 minute presentation to nine attendees within the environment of their studio. The artists spoke about their personal history in art, techniques, themes and fundamental motivations.
Bettye Olson Howard is a veteran WARM member and Dow artist. She has been a dedicated artist since the 1940’s when she bravely took the break from domesticity that we all dream of. She has been a fulltime painter and teacher since then, in Minnesota for the most part although she also studied in Taos, New Mexico. Bettye was recently honored with a retrospective at the Hennepin History Museum which included many of her abstract paintings from the 1950’s, her vividly flowing watercolors as well as a video interview that took place in Sweden. Bettye is a local treasure with a priceless historical perspective which clearly confirms itself in the work right up to the lovely Easter banner that she recently created for her church. One of Bettye’s contemporaries at the University of Minnesota was Malcolm Myers, many of the artists present at the Coffee had also studied with Malcolm, including myself, and there was a warm remembrance among most of us. One of the themes stressed by Bettye was of balance and faith, painting has helped keep that balance in her life and her advice to women artists is that if you stick it out and think of new ways to create, the urge to create will not abandon you. Her method to revive the creative urge is to approach the natural world in a group of fours; i.e.: seasons and elements.
Laurie R. Johnson’s recent work gravitates between the visual and the literary. She has been working on a story whose themes are vastly evocative about the search for meaningful connections in the world. When she finds herself challenged as to where to take the story, she comes back to the studio and draws from her dreams and memory to illustrate the stories direction. Although she strongly credits her dreams, the drawings are distinctly composed in a strong eventful narrative. The depiction of a crow in the drawings unleashed a lively discussion among the attendee’s about symbolism, archetypes and folklore and it was agreed that the crow could represent a narrator or a reincarnated former character in the story. Laurie also works steadily to develop her discovery of glassine material, creating luminous banners in vivid or moody colors. Lately she has extended that exploration into three dimensional sculptural forms. Laurie credits her muse and teacher, the late Gabrielle Ellertson of the Women’s Institute, as a lasting and reliable influence in her work.
I am Debra Ripp, and my studio was next in line in the tour. My latest creation has been my focus website and I am happy to say that it had been launched shortly before this tour. You can visit at www.tobersonstudio.com, and I hope you do, I am completely open to feedback! My webmaster, WARM member, Debra Trejo, was present at the tour and I was more than happy to introduce her! I can, without reservation, recommend Debra to anyone interested in setting up a website. She is wonderful and very patient!
I like that our themes, among the artists presenting, are somewhat intertwined. It seems that we all rely on something in our relation to the world, whether it is balance, connection, faith, or navigation. In my work I rely on the function and perspective of my characters that I create. I spoke at length about my main character, Toberson, how he was created and what his function is. This is the subject of my very first blog on my website. The gist is that Toberson is my compass and my filter as far as the world is concerned, before I created him, I felt rudderless and unfocused as to how to go about my duties as an artist. He helps to keep me from distraction so I can explore other ideas such as my lamp series. At one point last year there was an issue of dysfunction in my lamp world in which every lamp I had at home quit on me and I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. I brought a selection to my studio and began to create still lives. From this exercise, two series has emerged, a collection of vignettes /master collage drawings and series of banners depicting a forest of lamps. My title for these projects is “The Light that Failed Me:subtitled: What do you do if essential things in your life are suddenly absent?” I continue to develop characters and places for them to travel to and this reflects my interest in the theme of the journey and what it means to maintain meaning in your life and art.
Karen Searle creates abundantly unique fabric and needlework art! We were able to view many examples which varied from dollmaking which embraces bark elements, to embroidery and extremely intricate lace stitchery. These are not your mother’s samplers! Her work is a statement about women’s creativity and ingenuity in the world. The exceptional piece for me is one I have marveled at whenever I have visited her studio. It is an ordinary dining room chair that she had collected, then embellished in multicolored yarn, embroidered, sewn and staffed with birds and other accoutrements. She is, at heart, a collector, not just of materials but of thoughts and lyrics. One of her lace self portraits is an image of her as an older woman and it borrows the lyrics of a Beatles song “When I’m sixty four” another quotes “Yesterday” as in “Yesterday came suddenly.” In other works she has incorporated acrylic paint along with sewn elements, stating that ” it just needed sewing”. Her work inspired a discussion in just how deeply these sewing urges go in women and how far they can be taken and why, it seems that it is couched in the caretaking tradition and doesn’t really need to be obliterated in the name of feminism! Karen has been a strong presence in the Dow building and at the Textile Center as well as leadership in the WARM Mentor/Protégé program.
Ann Meany is at home in her ceramic studio in the basement of the Dow building, complete with her own kiln. Ann’s main theme is to commemorate her family relationships with ceramic symbols of her feelings, such as the swaddled heart form she built to the memory of her father and an earlier mosaic piece (as seen on her page at FineArtAmerica) dedicated to of her late brother. Ann’s wish is to portray “ the unlimited potential of connections on earth and in the spiritual world.”
She also has a love for the spiral shape and ferns and her work reveals a general desire for the action of the form. Ann also had a collection of ceramic playful figurines modeled both after her adopted African American daughters and inspired by the book “Happy to be Nappy”. She brings varied and rich experience to her studio since she has worked as a movement teacher, a wellness director and a guardian ad litum for children at risk in the Court system.
This tour turned out to be a successful sharing of thoughts questions and discussion. There were mutual benefits for the artists and attendee’s in the gathering and hopes that we could do this sort of event again. We actually did a tour at the Casket building last year, it was just as stimulating and fun as this one. The WARM Programming Committee is open to ideas for Coffee’s like this, please don’t hesitate to talk us!
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
by Protégée Kate Renee
Jill Waterhouse and her four protégées Kate Renee, Barbara Bridges, Anne Kleinhenz and Jennifer Palmquist went on a fieldtrip on February 19th 2013 to the Minnesota Historical Society’s Library. There, they planned to view the Minnesota 2000 Journal Project.
The five of us sat in the library and poured over 46 volumes of personal artist journals filled with writing, pictures, illustrations, mixed media, collages and memorabilia. The artists and creatives participating in this project were to reflect on “the obstacles and opportunities, celebrations and concerns, and paths explored, on their journey through the year 2000.” This artist journal project was organized in 1999 by Linda S. Koutsky, Mark Odegard, Roslyn Stendhal and Eloise Klein. We also were able to look through a comprehensive portfolio that gave use some history and background to the project and to the artists.
Some of the artists’ journals had elaborate covers, wrappings and beadwork. Each one was a small green hand bound book with three signatures. Nancy Coger’s book had taped in dead wood ticks, a different artist’s book had plastic pages made of recycled packing materials, and another was completely sewn out of fabric. There were clipped pieces of human hair, dedications to great great grandchildren and indexes to just name a few memorable components found in these books.
This project was an honest place for artists to explore, write, record and express what they were going through during that period of time. It was great to see one artist express his hesitation within his journaling, John Coy wrote, “I had the feeling I should try to make it splashier, more colorful and I wasn’t sure what to do so I left it alone.” I am sure many of us artists have felt this way when trying to journal on our own. It was also very exciting to see the enormous variety between these books and learn that there really is no certain way that artists journals must be created.
As part of the WARM program, protégés are expected to journal or document their two year process. During our time in the library, we barely had the chance to view all the journals before our time was up! We were able to skim and page through the journals. We took pictures and notes and got a few new ideas too but were unable to sit and read all the journal entries. We all left extremely excited and had a lot of new ideas to begin working on our own journals.
Interested in seeking out these archives on your own? Check out the information from the Historical Society at this LINK. The Society’s library is open late on Tuesday evenings from 5pm until 8pm.
Interested in getting together with other artists to journal? Roz Stendhal and Suzanne Hughes host a free journaling evening gathering at Minnesota Center for Book Arts called the Visual Journal Collective. Head on over to the MCBA website and look under workshops for more information. Or check out the information Roz provides which lists the monthly topics discussed at each journal collective meeting.
Sunday, December 9th, 2012
by Debra Ripp
Judith Roode holds a B.A. from Grinnell College and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa University of Iowa. She has exhibited her figure drawings in invitational exhibitions at such institutions as: The Women’s Interact Center, New York City; Art Institute of Boston; Cincinnati Art Museum; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; and in a Kentucky Arts Commission traveling exhibition. Her work is published in Nathan Goldstein’s 5th edition of The Art of Responsive Drawing (Simon & Schuster, 1999) and A Drawing Handbook (Prentice Hall, 1986). Her work is included in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Weisman Art Museum, Tweed Museum and the Minnesota Historical Society.
In 1992 she retired as a Professor from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design due to a debilitating illness
The 30 year old WARM Mentor Program which began in 1982 is the brainchild of Judith Roode.
We were honored that Judith spoke to WARM members recently about this issue at the November WARM coffee held at the Gifted and Guided Mentor/Protégé exhibition, which was hung in the Bottling House in northeast Minneapois. The WARM Mentor Program promotes strong female artists models. The mission of the program is to insure that women are full participants in the development of visual arts and culture in this community and society. The WARM Mentor Program has served more than 450 women artists, some of whom have gone on to become strong role models in the professional Art world. The compelling question for Judith at that time was: Why are there no mentors for women artists in the Art community? The Art program at the University of Minnesota at that time was still an old boys network and there was no real support for woman artists. After all there were only two women faculty members hired as professors at that time in the whole of undergraduate and graduate programs. She didn’t want to be in their position or be like them. The choices then were pretty limited. Because of the lack of female support students that happened to be women were not taken very seriously by most of the male faculty. A large part of the lively discussion at the WARM Coffee consisted of comments on how the WARM Mentor/Protégé program was started, how it is going at present and what the future of the program involves. Women artists who have participated praise it highly and express that it literally saved their lives in some instances! There are issues in the lives of women artists that need to be addressed such as finding the place and time for their work, finding funds, support and recognition, let alone justifying and defending their thesis and reasons for making their work a priority in their lives. Judith stated that it was harder for women at that time than it ever was for men. But that fact made the need for a support network even more necessary. The WARM Mentorship program has become very well known since its inception and many other programs around the country have utilized it as a model for their own supportive networks for emerging artists.
The future of the Mentor program emerged in the discussion with question about the inclusion of men in the program. This is obviously a touchy issue since the program has historically been a program for women artists and the organization would like to preserve that identity for the program. However, some of the comments and questions that came up concerned future funding and srtistic support for artists in general. Securing grant funding in this day and age often involves making the program available for all populations, also it might seem hypocritical if we were judging applications on gender rather than merit: the need for support should not depend on gender but merit of the work.
This is a discussion that will continue for the organization and the Mentor Committee.
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
WARM member Shari Zimmermann exhibits at Coloplast. The Coloplast Corporation, a medical-technology company based in Denmark, has partnered with WARM to provide our artists with a unique opportunity to exhibit in their award-winning North American headquarters built in 2009.
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I find beauty in weathered surfaces that show a history of human touch and the evidence of time passed. Using acrylic paint, ink jet printouts, and sometimes stencils and stamps, I look for surprising results while experimenting with technique and color combinations. Little pieces of thought find their way into the picture through symbols and typography. Most of my paintings are about memories, long ago and recent, and they all tell a story.
I often rethink my painting in the middle of the process and recreate entire sections. Sometimes I start completely over an old painting of mine that I never liked, allowing textures from the hidden layers to become part of the composition. When I’m happy with the finished piece it feels like the company of a friend who has seen me through troubled times.
For more information about Shari and her artwork, visit her online gallery.
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
WARM member Therese Krupp exhibits at Coloplast. The Coloplast Corporation, a medical-technology company based in Denmark, has partnered with WARM to provide our artists with a unique opportunity to exhibit in their award-winning North American headquarters built in 2009.
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When buying her house in 2002 Therese also inherited a treasure trove of images from her previous residents- the Kristensen’s. Helen and Jens immigrated from Denmark in the 1950′s and monthly -a rolled up version of Danish Heaven came to them in the mail. Luckily, ” the day I came to help them pack -I was able to save them all from the trash heap!”
The print “As You Wish” was a newsprint coupon ad for a back yard swing set . The title is from the movie Princess Bride…the man serving the ice tea could be saying it… With the ” The 1967 Duplex” I was shocked when I found the image. That these monstrosities existed in 1967 surprised me. And that it was called the Duplex was perfect. ” The Pollination Schedule” is a playful commentary on the life of a honey bee when all the flowers are in bloom.. With the print ”I Must of Counted at Least …58 So Far!” its with a remembrance of the crow flocks (also called a Murder) that one could see last Fall in South Minneapolis.
For more information about Therese and her artwork, visit her mnartists.org page and Highpoint Center for Printmaking page.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
WARM member Deborah Vander Eyk exhibits at Coloplast. The Coloplast Corporation, a medical-technology company based in Denmark, has partnered with WARM to provide our artists with a unique opportunity to exhibit in their award-winning North American headquarters built in 2009.
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The styles I seem to be drawn to are Abstract Expressionism, Impressionistic Painting and Traditional Photography.
I have a tendency to create art forms using color, different textures and soft lines to convey feelings and thoughts. These images seem to speak to an audience at an unconscious level inducing more of an individual reaction. As an artist I continue to develop within these styles.
My academic education began during the early 1970’s in Central Minnesota and Wisconsin. I was able to study under a variety of scholarly abstract artists and photographers. This provided an opportunity to experiment with watercolors, acrylics, photography and mixed media.
For more information about Deborah and her artwork, visit her mnartists.org page.
Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
WARM member Rochelle Woldorsky exhibits at Coloplast. The Coloplast Corporation, a medical-technology company based in Denmark, has partnered with WARM to provide our artists with a unique opportunity to exhibit in their award-winning North American headquarters built in 2009.
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These assembled photos are of the Hudson River in New York State. They are shot from a moving train, often through smudgy windows. This is a train trip that I have made many times… always photographing out the window and sketching in my notebook to record favorite views, changing weather and light conditions. It’s landscape on the run as I am unable to stand in one spot and carefully position myself for a photo composition. In printing I leave all the imperfections such as flash spots, fuzziness, in and out focus to allow a more impressionistic image to emerge. The landscape itself is so compelling that it comes through the rough edges. From a moving train with constantly changing views it is possible to be captivated by the stillness of a scene, to isolate it but also feel the drama of the larger panorama. This is what I am attempting to present with these works.
I put two images together; the Mississippi River viewed from the windows of Coloplast on the opposite wall where my photos of the Hudson River were hung was an interesting juxtaposition (see image at top right).
For more information about Rochelle and her artwork, visit her mnartists.org page.
Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
WARM member Bettye Olson exhibits at Coloplast. The Coloplast Corporation, a medical-technology company based in Denmark, has partnered with WARM to provide our artists with a unique opportunity to exhibit in their award-winning North American headquarters built in 2009.
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Still in love with painting after more than 60 years, Minneapolis artist Bettye Olson, 83, is a living monument to hard work and steady vision. A pioneering feminist, Olson founded the West Lake Gallery in 1964, and the artist-run Minneapolis cooperative persisted for 20 years. Her new painting show spans nearly six decades, from her college days at the University of Minnesota (1941-1945) to her most recent watercolors of swirling ocean whirlpools. Throughout, Olson honed her own style of colorful, upbeat imagery under the inspiration of nature and the experimental techniques of 20th-century abstractionists. (Source: Star Tribune, Mary Abbe, Nov. 2006).
Bettye is a native of Minnesota and a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received a Masters Degree in art education at the University of Minnesota in 1949. She taught art at the University of Minnesota, Concordia College (St. Paul), Augusburg College (Minneapolis) and founded the West Lake Gallery (artist-run cooperative) in 1964 where she studied art under Jo Lutz Rollins. Bettye has shown in national watercolor exhibitions and has exhibited in Sweden, Finland and Italy along with her regular regional exhibits. She served as the artist in residence at Holden Village in Chelan, Washington and her work is in the collections of the Minnesota Art Museum in Swede, Kuopio Art Museum in Finland and Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. She maintains a studio in the Dow Building in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Source: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church website, library art collection).
Bettye describes her Red and Greens watercolor (at right): “After creating flower paintings in watercolor every way I could conceive; this was a change in medium, size and abstracting the forms.”
For more information about Bettye and her artwork, visit her mnartists.org page. To see a 1965 photo of artists from the West Lake Gallery (including Bettye, she’s in the top row, middle), click this link to the Minnesota Historical Society’s Visual Resources Database.
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