Interested artists presented portfolios applying for the opportunity to interpret an historical artifact and once chosen the 15 were assigned an artifact with a 3-month completion time. Their results were nothing less than "AWSM."
Starting at the opposite side of the gallery room working backwards like a salmon swimming upstream, I moved amidst the people and works, reading descriptions until the crowd bottle necked. I have to admit I was willing to endure the bumping into folks to hear reactions to the artifacts and their artists' interpretations.
|Cigar box inspires Black Rose by Sarah Pederson|
Included in the show was a mosaic 'Harvesting the River' by mosaic artist Ingvild Herfindahl reminding us of the area's important button trade.
Kathleen Hawkes's 'Heartbeat' inkjet print imitated the rhythmic beats and repetition of a Ho Chunk drum while 3-D paper artist Martha Shwem created a paper mobile timeline of the paper fastener.
Sometimes it's the unplanned like lighting that enhances one's handiwork. The shadows cast on Jonathan Eimer's la crosse sticks (far left); one forged and the other carved from wood were exquisite. Jonathan's work received an honorable mention. BTW Eimer is a fine arts degree grad and works as a locomotive engineer with BNSF Railway.
Prestan Lawing's wood cut of the blacksmith emphasizes the numerous blows and action it must have taken for the metal forging of the knife pictured to the right. Tong Khai pictured here (l) demonstrates this age old forging tradition at the Hmong Cultural Center.
La Crosse entrepreneur Giles Montague also started La Crosse Cracker and Candy Factory in 1894. Printmaker Ben Alberti translated the booming industry of its time in his woodcut "Abundance."
|Abundance woodcut by Ben Alberti, printmaker|
Kim Vaughter's, La Crosse painter and fabric artist, had the antique trunk being opened in a different time with whimsical creatures investigating its contents. Titled The Ones Who Could Not Resist Will Be the Prettiest of All. This trunk originally made by George Herken who ended up manufacturing trunks and patenting a luggage label in the 1930's in La Crosse.
|Community, Family and Faith|
|Unmentionables by Misha Bolstad, UW-L graphic design prof|
Lisa Lenarz's "Cloth of International Friendship"was the overall 'winning' interpretation of traditional Hmong hemp pleated ceremonial skirt.
A formal narrative painting recreates the area's socio cultural 1980's Friendship Program. Actually one of my Show and Tell group regifted his parents's ceremonial garb from the Hmong community to the La Crosse Historic society. Kewl indeed.
|Ariel polishing her remarks|
Somebody had to initiate and implement this ingeneous collaborative effort and it was the brainchild of UW-L's Canadian Ariel Beaujot. With the help of students, her colleagues and our community this exhibit came to fruition. Kudos to you all and Thank you for showing the importance remembering a community's history through art.
* Additional 2016 presentations THE PUMP HOUSE REGIONAL ARTS Behind (art)i fact will take place Sundays at 2pm :
March 6, April 3 and 10th , and 17th