Monday, July 23, 2007

The path to Minneapolis - FOREST WALK exhibit

I have just returned from transporting a carload of art to the Susan Hensel Gallery in Minneapolis, MN. . The show is titled "Forest Walk" and is a small retrospective of my work in nature and about nature. (sculpture and installation, nature-altered and handmade paper). The show was installed in one day with the help of gallerist Susan, husband Wendell, and art student Zach Pearl. This is a gallery of narrative art which I has intrigued me for a long time. Lots goes on there. Currently there is an outdoor installation being done in a side yard. On August 4th there will be an original performance by Sandy Beach "Dreamcasting", a response to "Forest Walk". The exhibit included a floor installation of small "bark" books, nature-altered book pages hung in the 2 store fronts, two of my large open books, a variety of smaller artists' books that document my work in nature, wall works of photography and paper buried under winter snows, and hanging scrolls of handmade paper telling forest stories.

The road trip getting to Minneapolis turned on many levels. Leaving Durango in SW Colorado we (Wendell and I) journeyed through Boulder to Rapid City, SD. Landscape raw and minimal. Solitary ghost farms on the horizon. The Badlands interupt with rock formations and the windblown grasses of prairie. Then Mitchell, SD and the Corn Palace, a splendor of maize and corniness! Spent a day in Fargo, the town where my maternal grandparents lived and Grandpa Peter Johnson built a hotel. I had heard about this town as part of my family's oral history so I had always wanted to experience the town. Visited museums of history and a Viking ship, all connecting me with my Norwegian heritage.

Minneapolis beyond the exhibition activity gave us a memorable time...amazing collections at the Walker Art Museum and an anniversary lunch at Wolfgang Puck's resturant there. We stayed with 2nd cousin Bonnie Chase and her husband John. We visited the Center for the Book at the Open Book building and the new Geary theater by the river. And we walked and dinnered by the Mississippi with school friend Joan Williams Phelps and her husband Al....a much longed-for reunion after 30 years.

Offering: Nokomis Lake, Minneapolis

At Nokomis Lake in the city I performed my on-going ritual of floating rounds of handmade paper on waters around the a prayer for the healing of our environment. Then we were off to Kansas to visit cousin Edna and her sister Marjorie in Salina. Frank Taggart, Marjorie's son took us to a farm auction which was Americana at its best and his wife Linda treated us to a lovely dinner. Arrived home late the next day weary but happy to be home.

1 comment:

Mary-Ellen said...

Mary Ellen,
Enjoyed your blog.
I'm currently in Minneapolis and will check out the gallery where you showed. I'm on my way to another residency for a month in Red Wing, MN.
Getting back to roots is always fascinating. I found my great grandparents graves in a little town in Italy. Had their photos on the gravestones.
I still am amazed how much alike our work is as well as our name.