Hey friends, and happy South Dakota winter! It can get mighty cold here on the prairie, can’t it?
If you wanna warm up your insides, I recommend checking out the art that the Washington Pavilion has on display at the moment. (A little while ago I did a post about what was up then, so I’ll spend more time on the new stuff. That article is here).
Ok, so let me give you the tour. I’ll start with the main floor, which the Pavilion calls the Second Floor on its Visual Arts Center handout, and I’ll also divide it up by gallery.
Cool. Let’s get started.
Entryway: Post Secret (pop up exhibit through March 6)
The sign next to Post Secret says “Contains Mature Content. Viewer discretion is advised,” which makes this exhibit sound very explicit. And in some ways, it is. But that’s because it’s composed of the candid confessions of strangers.
Post Secret’s concept is simple: people craft or find post cards and then write a secret on it and send it in anonymously. Frank Warren collects and archives them on the blog or in one of the Post Secret books. Or sometimes, in museums like the Pavilion. Give the exhibit a look; you might connect with one or two of those secrets.
(If you want to explore Post Secret before seeing the exhibit, check out Frank Warren’s Ted Talk.)
Contemporary I: Containing Nature (through January 31)
This mulit-material exhibit is the work of Gregory Euclide. It’s described as an invitation “to consider our complex relationship with our environment…to what degree do we attempt to control or contain nature?” Euclide used both natural and man-made materials to create 3D pieces housed in white shadow boxes.
Euclide says that his work “creates a hybrid space where the romanticized and the actual mingle.” In other words, it feels futuristic and naturalistic at the same time (maybe that’s why I was vaguely reminded of Samurai Jack). Take your time with this exhibit. The longer you spend with each piece, the more you see, and some pieces feel like watching a hundred stories unfold.
(You can find the statements that I quoted in the handy dandy handout at the entrance of the gallery. And, to tickle your fancy, check out some videos of his work in process here.)
Permanent Collection: RAW Transformation (through January 10)
I talked about this exhibit last time, but here’s a quick refresher: this exhibit is a made of different artists’ interpretation of natural materials. It’s a pretty tactile collection, hence the sign that reminds you to keep a healthy distance from the art. Check it out, folks. It’s colorful and engaging.
Egger Gallery: Northern Plains Tribal Art Collection (through Feb 7)
Last I was in this exhibit it looked a bit different, because it’s a bit of a rotating exhibit. Or, to use the Pavilion’s words, it’s “an installment of an ongoing exhibition.” So it’s all well and good to pop in more than once between now and February 7th!
This time around, I felt that gestural and the earth toned works were emphasized, rather than the precise and vibrant colors I’ve previously seen on display. It’s also one of the only exhibits where pictures of the work are a bit of a touchy subject, so I’m afraid you’ll have to take my word for it.
Alright let’s go upstairs.
Contemporary II: Loopapalooza (through April 10)
When I walked into the gallery and saw this massive conglomerate of loops, I literally burst into laughter. The cool thing about this incarnation of “Loopapalooza” is that it’s the largest one yet.
I call it an “incarnation” because this configuration of loops and swirls never looks exactly the same. After it leaves the Pavilion, Ned Day, the artist behind “Loopapalooza” will re-interpret all of those twists and turns. It’s kind of like a ceramic snapshot, if you’re thinking philosophically.
County Lines: Reflections Squared (through March 6)
The best way to introduce you to this exhibit is to expand on its name. The exhibit really is an embodiment of two translations of the word reflection: Barbara Sparks expresses personal sentiments about her work’s subject matter and also carefully articulates the physical reflection of light on matter.
And she does all of this via watercolor. It’s simply stunning, friends.
Everist: Constructs (through February 14)
Ok, this one is a journey. Mark W. McGinnis combined his love of research and art to create an exhibit that’s described as “a method of exploring an idea through physical construction…each of these series connects research and self-education with creation.” Which means that when you visit this exhibit you’ll see an artistic re-telling of some religious figures, Western Art, and other stories and ideas of the world.
(You can find the statements that I quoted in the handout at the entrance of the gallery)
Corner Gallery: A Human Record (through January 3)
I’m not going to tell you much about this one, because it’s actually the kind of thing that you need to experience for yourself to understand. Don’t interpret that as an attempt at being artsy and vague. I just don’t want to color any of your perceptions before you see this exhibit.
So. Let me just say this: it’s an installment piece that Ashton Bird created out of discarded domestic materials. And it’s worth experiencing.
Alrighty, folks. That’s where my tour ends.
Don’t forget that you can go see all this rad stuff for free every Tuesday, Saturdays 10-noon, and every First Friday from 5-8.
Stay warm and cozy in this weather, my friends! Until next time.