Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Twelfth Annual Juried Exhibit at the Edge Center Gallery in Bigfork

This will be the twelfth time the Edge Center Art Gallery in Bigfork, will invite artists to submit their work for judging by a juror. Butch Holden is the juror for this show. The juror is responsible for selecting the participating artists and judging which of the works will receive awards. The unknown in juried art shows is what the juror believes makes award winning art verses exceptional art. Some of the exhibitors in this year’s juried show are new for this gallery event or any juried art exhibit. For the visitor, a juried show presents a wider variety talents and media, than an exhibition by a single artist. There will be twelve artists’ work on display in this Twelfth Annual Juried Exhibit which is on display from June 30th to July 30th.  The opening day reception is on July 1st from 5 to 7PM. There is also a special “People’s Choice Award” selected by viewers. That award will be part of the reception and can be voted on June 30th and up until 6PM July 1st. There is no charge for the gallery and reception. Edge Center Gallery is next to the Bigfork School and is open from 10:00 to 4:00 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

As juror this year, Butch Holden is responsible for choosing the recipients of the Awards this year. Mr. Holden received his BA degree in art from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN and his M.F.A. degree in ceramics from Indiana University, Bloomington IN.  He has taught drawing and ceramics at Mount Senario College in Ladysmith, WI and has recently retired as a Professor at Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN, where he taught since 1983.  He has exhibited in local, regional and national competitions, and also has had many solo exhibitions.  In addition to having juried many shows, he has served on numerous art grant panels.

Those artists exhibiting are painters Nikki Besser, Harold Dzuik, Sara Fredrickson, Ralph Hanggi, Jr., Pegg O’Laughlin Julson, Tanya MacRostie, Gene Madsen, Chholing Taha and Christine Tierney. John McCoy’s prints and Joy Anderson’s drawings were also chosen for the show.  Among the accepted artists are photographers Audrey Johnson, Tim Lamey, and David Swanson. Denise Martin’s felted figure, Susan Gilbert’s aluminum sculptures, James Lutgen’s carved bird, and Cathryn Peters’ basket are the three-dimensional works that are part of the exhibit.

A special thanks to the sponsors of the awards.  This year they are: Best of Show Award by Kocian’s Family Market and two Awards of Excellence sponsored by Arvig Communications and First State Bank of Bigfork.  For the audience, the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Bigfork Valley Hospital, is always a special. It gives visitors a chance to see how their opinions compare to the juror.

The Gallery invites you to come and see this Twelfth Juried show during the exhibit's opening day reception and pick your favorite while enjoying a snack and seeing a variety of exceptional art, or during its normal open hours from 10:00 to 4:00 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from from June 30th to July 30th. There is no charge to visit the gallery or attend the opening reception. For more information go to  The Edge Center gallery is located next to the Bigfork School.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fiber Happenings at the Edge Center Gallery

During June the Edge Center Art Gallery will host an exhibit featuring “Fiber Art” that ties together past traditions and current ideas.  The term "Fiber Art" refers tofine art whose material consists of natural or synthetic fiber and other components, such as fabric or yarn. It focuses on the materials and on the manual labor on the part of the artist as part of the works' significance, and prioritizes aesthetic value over utility”. Fabrics were made by hand using knitting needles, crochet hooks or simple looms for centuries, and then, during the industrial age, those processes were taken over, in large part, by factory production.  Workers still continued to create “needle work” to make clothing or to decorate their homes, keeping alive the traditions. The term “Fiber Art” came about after WWII to describe works in the art world, using traditional fibers to make not only clothing, but to make artistic statements. Ref: 

Artistic expressions in fiber from a number of different artists will be on display in Fiber Happenings, an exhibit in the Edge Center Gallery Bigfork MN (above). The fiber work of 8 artists may be seen from June 2 until June 25.  The Opening Reception is Friday, June 3 from 5:00 to 7:00.

As you might expect the art shown at the Bigfork Gallery is but a slice of the “Fiber Art” world. And other examples include everything one might expect from such a large potential resource. Note the Yarn Bombing in Montreal in 2009 above or sculpture below.  They will not be at the Edge Exhibit, but you can learn more about “Fiber Art” at  

Many traditions inspire the Edge exhibit artists.  Oklahoma artist Michele Lasker (below) credits her travel experiences as sources of visual information.  Especially useful to her are “walking The Great Wall, studying the hand-chiseled designs on the doors of La Sagrada Familia, or climbing The Acropolis to see the statuesque columns of the Parthenon.  My travels throughout the world have shown me the synchronicity between different countries and cultures with similar approaches to fiber, miles apart and separated by centuries. I am most intrigued by that historical and contemporary context.”  In her own work, freeform knitting and crochet are enhanced with batik, hand embroidery, and beading.

Keila McCracken’s work comes from a specific tradition.  In order to achieve the type of weaving she preferred to do, Keila brought a 2000 lb. Industrial Age loom from Scotland to Bemidji, where she create traditional fabric.  Keila is a member of the Northern Minnesota Fibershed which is a group of farmers and fiber artists in the Northern Minnesota region that use local fiber, local dyes, and local labor to meet local fiber needs.

Mary Therese, from Fern Lake near Bemidji, paints and dyes fabrics (above and blow).  She uses batik and other dying methods to create reflections of the natural world, abstracting design elements and using rich vibrant colors.  She uses her fabric in wearable art, window treatments and church paraments, flags and banners.  Her work has grown out of her background in painting and printmaking.  

Two of the fabric artists featured in Fiber Happenings draw from their Native American heritages. Ccholing Taha is a Cree First Nation artist who has recently moved to the Twin Cities. Very complex textured shawls are one of her specialties (below).  “Shawls and wearing blankets are important garments even for modern times.  The shawl honors the drum, expresses modesty, given as a acknowledgment of dedication to the People, and much more.”

Maggie Thompson, Minneapolis based fiber artist, is a member of the Fond du Lac Ojibwe tribe as well as a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design.  Thompson knits and weaves with unique designs, rooted in her experiences as a modern Native American woman (below)

Edna Trunt displays her mosaic fabric quilted piece based on a photograph of one of her grandchildren (below). She owns Your Quilting Room in Grand Rapids.

 LeeAnn Geshick’s accomplished weaving (below)

and Bigfork’s Kristen Anderson’s large 2-D felted pieces (below) are also part of Fiber Happenings.

View the wide variety of ways textiles are part of the current art world at Fiber Happenings from June 2 to June 25.

The Opening Reception on Friday, June 3 from 5:00 to 7:00 is a great time to join others in seeing and discussing the work, while enjoying a snack.  And while you are there, consider attending a concert on the Edge Center Stage by “The Divas.”  There is a charge for the concert, but the gallery opening and exhibit is at no charge. The Edge Center is next to the Bigfork School. The Gallery is open from 10:00 to 4:00 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.