Arts Minded: Everyday objects become a masterpieceIf you haven’t seen the exhibit on the lower floor of the River Falls Public Library, you need to. And, luckily, you have a few more days to see it.
By: Sue Beckham, columnist, River Falls Journal
If you haven’t seen the exhibit on the lower floor of the River Falls Public Library, you need to. And, luckily, you have a few more days to see it.
The last day is this coming Saturday, Aug. 18. The art in this show — called “Found, Imagined, Assembled” — is by Gary and Mary Ann Carlson who use similar media, but very different art forms.
“Found Art” probably goes back to the first Neanderthal who picked up a uniquely shaped agate and carried it back to the cave. My handy cooperative “source” Wikipedia defines found art as “art created from undisguised, but often modified, objects that are not normally considered art, often because they already have a non-art function.”
In the 20th Century, the practice acquired art establishment respectability when Marcel Duchamp hung a 1920s urinal on the wall and gave it a name. Since then, art circles have extended the idea of finding art in single objects to finding objects and combining them into works of art.
Thus the Carlsons combine sticks and stones, wrought iron fence pieces, animal horns, zippers, buttons, brushes, nails, screws, springs and brads — you name it — into fine art.
If you’re lucky, you saw more found objects combined into art when you saw Dale Lewis’ compositions of cutlery — knives, forks and spoons — at both Global M.A.D.E. and the library last month.
Most of Lewis’s compositions are small — frogs with a table spoon head and forks for feet, dragon flies on sticks so they can become parts of dried flower arrangements. But he does big works as well — on top of his car is a seven-foot alligator with spoon spines and fork teeth.
And, of course, many of us create our own found art assemblages. Bringing the rock home like the Neanderthal is not enough.
The “artist” must have input, thus, when my more talented friends arrange several rocks, a stick or two and a dried flower on a grainy wooden table top, they have created art. Even so, the exhibit now at the library goes beyond our efforts. It is a pleasure first to see their art works — and then to analyze the objects used to make them.
By the way, another place in River Falls to “find” art is at Custom Framing and Art. I think owner Pat Hammerback and her talented employees have something to do with it, but every time I enter that shop, in addition to the traditional art displayed, I find “stuff” that becomes art when I look at it — on the counter, against the walls, glimpsed from the back spaces, the shop itself.
As for the other artsy stuff you can do this week and next, try the following:
Music in the Park continues at Veterans’ or Bums’ Park at 7 p.m. — Great bands, great audiences, twice as many concerts because city sources and the Wisconsin Arts Board have donated to the effort — that means more musicians are employed more of the time:
Aug. 17 - Chris Silver Band: Blues, rock, jam; sponsored by Steve’s Pizza
Aug. 18 - JayBee and the Honey: “Sweet Stuff”; Sponsored by River Falls Community Theatre
Aug. 24 - Rush River Ramblers: Old-timey favorites with Sue West; Sponsored by Brickhouse Music
Aug. 25 - Youth Band Showcase: Two young bands; Sponsored by Brickhouse Music
Annual Members’ Exhibit at the Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson through Sept. 9. All an artist has to do to be a part of this show is to be a member of the Phipps and submit a piece. But, it’s amazing how much talent there is among members. Apparently, nobody dares submit pieces unless they’re pretty sure of the quality.
Touched by War, art and poetry from veterans and their families at the River Falls Public Library opens Saturday, Aug. 25 with a reception from 1-3 p.m. Call for Artists - Veterans and family members of a veterans who wish to participate, contact Jera Terreng at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-425-0905.
Foreign Film Series at the River Falls Public Library:
—‘Skirt Day’ from France, Monday, Aug. 20, 7 p.m.
—‘A Separation’ from Iran, Monday, Aug. 27, 7 p.m.
River Falls Community Theatre Auditions: “PLAY ON!” by Rick Abbott; Aug. 23-24; 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the River Falls Academy Bldg., 211 N. Freemont St. — use north entrance, up one flight to theatre space midway down the hall on the right. The play needs seven women and three men, ages 18 and up — and people interested in helping backstage. Call Terry at 715-279-2708 for more information.