Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art

  • August 8th - October 6th
  • Opening Reception: Tuesday, August 15th, 5-7pm - Reception & Artist's Talk: Friday, September 15th, 5-7pm

A traveling exhibition from the Society for Contemporary Craft.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mental illnesses account for a larger proportion of disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. In 2004, an estimated 25% of adults in the United States reported having a mental illness in the previous year. However, unlike cancer and heart disease, which have become widely discussed in the public sphere, mental disorders remain hidden behind a wall of secrecy, leading to stigma, misunderstanding and neglect.

In order to bring this subject to light, Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC), located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is focusing public attention on this important topic through the traveling exhibition Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art.

Featuring 30 works created by 14 contemporary artists, with an emphasis on the topics of anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and tendencies, and PTSD, the exhibition explores the impact that mental illness has on society, and how the arts can encourage positive self- expression and guide effective mental health promotion and treatment.

Mindful will be a featured exhibit during the 2017 Kirkbride Arts and History Weekend, and throughout the fall of 2017, and is hosted by Springboard for the Arts, the Kaddatz Gallery and the Lake Region Arts Council.

Gary Wahl: Winter Blinds and Summer Windows

  • August 5th - September 16th @ StudioK
  • Reception: Thursday, September 14th, 5-7pm

Gary Wahl works in a range of materials from photography to cast metals.  His art responds to how competing forces of want and need impact how we build our shelters and divide the land, and how these choices subsequently have a visible impact on the landscape.  Wahl has exhibited internationally including the Middle East, and South America.  His work was included in the 2014 Minnesota Biennial at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Wahl’s large-scale public sculpture Uproot, at the New York Mills Sculpture Park, was recently included in the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s article, ‘Art worth the drive: 20 great museum artifacts in outstate Minnesota’.  He has received numerous awards including grants from the Jerome Foundation, the Great Lakes College Association, the Lake Region Arts Council, and the University of Minnesota. He has an MFA from the University of Iowa and earned his BA from the University of Minnesota at Morris.  From 2001-2016 Gary Wahl has taught Studio Art at Albion College, in Albion Michigan, and the University of Minnesota at Morris.



Upcoming Exhibitions

Karan Ouren: Connected

  • September 19th -October 21st @ StudioK
  • Reception: Thursday, September 28th, 5-7pm

Karan has been an artist working in acrylics since 2007, when she began painting floral, landscape and seascape artwork. In 2012 Karan’s focus turned to abstract art. She has always loved the abstract art of various artists and was determined to learn more about the art form as well as how these beautiful pieces were created.

Karan began by using techniques she had learned from her previous works, (successes and failures), and found that abstract art was not an easy art form. She would need to research and learn how to let go and loosen up when painting.

She began reading books by various artist and watching abstract painting tutorials, by practicing what the teaching artist was sharing she began to apply those very techniques to her own style of painting.

In Karan’s love for painting she found a freedom in the creation of abstract art. Discovering so many types of acrylic paints, mediums and tools that could be used in a piece of art became exhilarating. Inspired is not even close to expressing how she feels when she is painting. It is the experience, the process of working on a piece of art that brings the most enjoyment.

The current works from 2013-2017 are the results of her determination and experimentation in learning and working in the abstract form.

Eric A. Johnson: The Nature of Things

  • October 12th - November 18th
  • Reception: Saturday, October 14th, 2-4pm

Printmaker Eric A. Johnson hails from just outside Fargo, North Dakota. One of the region’s most prolific artists, Johnson has created well over 150 prints in the last several years and has exhibited extensively in over fifty regional and national exhibitions. He holds a B.S. in Fine Art with a minor in Art History from North Dakota State University and a M.F.A. in Printmaking from the University of North Dakota.

One of the region’s most prolific artists, his award-winning work is sought after by art collectors and cor- porate collections around the region. Art enthusiasts often recognize Johnson’s prints and comment on the brilliantly hued landscapes, a result of Johnson’s unique use of color in the reductive relief pro-
cess. Johnson’s work often draws from his active imagination, with images that run the gamut between slight abstraction and non-objective work. Recently, he has re-embraced realism, working from photos he has taken as his starting image and reimagining the reality in his hallmark bold and colorful style. Johnson draws inspiration from his kids, music, and his supportive and honest wife. His kids keep him young at heart, while his wife manages to push him outside is creative comfort zone. Music has always been an interest of Johnson, and he has in the past used song lyrics as inspiration for his work.

Lori Charest

  • November 22nd - Early January
  • Reception: TBD

Lori Charest is a graduate of The University of North Dakota with concentrations in Ceramics and Fibers. After college, she and her husband, Mike opened a pottery store and studio on Otter Tail Lake called “The Potter-Daughter” (Her dad was a carpenter and they joked about going into business together calling it” The Pounder-Founder and The Potter-Daughter”) Her specialty is functional stoneware pottery with surface design. Lori makes the pots and decorates them and Mike does the glazing, firing and bookkeeping.

Lori began teaching on the Fergus Falls campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College in 2003. She teaches the Ceramics classes as well as 3D Design. She is the coordinator of The Empty Bowl Project which uses the artwork of her students and area potters to raise money for The Salvation Army with a luncheon served in ceramic bowls. She has also been involved in many area art projects in the communities and schools.

She knew that she was destined to be a potter when she could be found playing in the mud long past the age that most people are done making mud pies. She loves the feel of the clay in her hands as she forms a ball of clay into something beautiful and useful with the potter’s wheel. She uses a variety of surface design techniques to enhance the shapes of her work and enjoys trying new things and ways of working with clay.