Photography and more at the Carnegie Art Center
The area around Mankato, Minnesota, has an active visual arts community and the Carnegie Art Center is a great place to see some of their work on display.
Since 1981, the city’s historic Carnegie Library building has provided artists from the region with space for classes, exhibitions, studios, and a gift shop. Exhibits – both group and solo shows – change monthly, with most open for only a few weeks.
Currently – as in THIS WEEK – the art center is featuring very different work by two local artists.
David Strom: A Journey
Walking into the art center, David Strom’s work is immediately visible in the rotunda and beyond. All of the paintings and drawings in A Journey are built around the image of a triangle atop a rectangle, a combination that immediately brings to mind the geometry of the grain elevators, bins, and silos of the rural landscape.
Ann Judkins: Pioneer Power
The other exhibit currently on display is the one that brought me to town after not visiting here for many, many years – an exhibit of color photographs by Ann Judkins.
Pioneer Power features photographs of objects offered for sale at the annual Le Sueur County Pioneer Power swap meet. This annual gathering of collectors of old farm equipment, tools, antiques, and more takes place over three days and draws almost 1000 vendors and 12,000 visitors to the 120 acre site. Ann has been photographing items offered for sale at the event over the last six years, “visual treasures in a sea of rural miscellanea” made up of old tools, toys, tractor parts and more.
While these are found images, they are all carefully composed to highlight patterns, textures, and unexpected juxtapositions. In addition, as aluminum prints, the rusty metal items photographed glow so realistically it’s hard not to reach out and touch them.
It’s detritus as art, and it is lovely.
Both A Journey and Pioneer Power close on November 19th. The Mankato Arts Center is located about 1½ hours south of the MSP metro area near downtown Mankato. There is no charge to visit the exhibitions and the wonderful gift shop filled with the work by regional artists is the perfect spot to begin your Christmas shopping.
Ann is the wife of a work colleague from many years back. Aside for posts on Facebook, I’d never meet her or seen any of her work until this trip . . . and I was pleased to discover how much I love her work.