Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph, Michigan is a lovely building set on equally lovely grounds. I can’t find even the tiniest nit to pick with its presentation titled “Resiliency” and the reception they held for it on this past Friday. Of course I’m totally biased about the presentation because you’re looking at the view everyone entering the gallery saw at first sight–a wall of paintings by yours truly.
Here’s the first wall a visitor to the Art Center sees as they enter the gallery area. This group is lined up to see a performance in the next room, which is why they aren’t fixated on my art😊
Here’s one of the outstanding artworks in the exhibit, it’s called “Through a Purple Patch” by Martina Nehrling of Chicago. I hope you get a sense from the video of what it felt like to walk alongside this 21′ long painting!
There was some gentle, soothing music to accompany the art too. The keyboard was right next to my wall of paintings. I couldn’t have asked for better lighting! And best of all, unlike some group exhibits I’ve participated in where they mix up the artists’ paintings like a giant stir-fry, Krasl kept each artist’s work in a separate group so you could stop and study it (or whatever else you felt like doing after reading how it applied to the “resiliency” theme).
There was a half-hour talk given before the reception officially opened, explaining the theme and the relationships of the art to it. I wish I had a summary of it, but I was too busy just listening…so here’s a very brief statement I cribbed from Krasl’s website:
This exhibition was inspired through dialogue between Krasl Art Center and Spectrum Health Lakeland (SHL). In 2016, the latter completed a Community Health Needs Assessment in which mental health emerged as the most urgent need throughout Berrien County. The same year, KAC committed to inspiring meaningful change and strengthening the community through visual arts as its new mission. Combining KAC’s expertise in art, and SHL’s expertise in wellness, Resiliency is a collaborative effort to improve individual lives and community in our area. Using the visual arts as a platform, this exhibition provides applicable tools for guests to craft their own resilient practices and gain empathy for others.
And look how this concentrated grouping of prints by John Gutoskey of Ann Arbor, Michigan lets them reinforce and build upon one another!
A marvelously effective grouping of this artist’s work. The only difficulty with gallery opening receptions is trying to get photos without a big crowd in front of the work. But if you show only the work it can look like nobody was there! At least this way you know we had a good sized crowd.
To top everything off, this reception had the best assortment of hors d’oeuvres ever. I can’t call them “snacks” or “refreshments” because they were way above and beyond such a mundane description. “Pumpkin Beer Cheese Dip”–who knew???
Who has ever seen a menu like this at a gallery opening??!!
And every bite was mm-mm-good!
And not to worry, not only mm-mm-good but all the plastic was collected to be recycled…that’s my kind of style!
PS: I did get into the Midwest Museum of American Art show too, but did not win a prize. Oh well. Here’s a photo of my entry. I think the lighting brought out a lot of the nice color variations in the painting, which is now my latest fave.
Sky Pads 23 at the Midwest Museum of American Art 41st Regional Competition in Elkhart, Indiana