Artist Reception for Stella Larkin's Exhibition, "There You Are" Planned for January 24th


Images of brown driftwood are seen on a beige background

Please join us in the Besse Gallery on Thursday, January 24th at 2 PM for the Opening Reception and Artist Talk for Stella Larkin’s, There You Are exhibit.

For over 35 years, Stella Larkin has lived, worked and created here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Attending Northern Michigan University, she studied art from a foundation of fibers. There she became exposed to others’ work in wood and sculpture which led her to the development of her own unique style of artistic expression. Using natural and human-made objects in her work, her materials are findings from her meanderings along beaches, sidewalks, yard sales or junk yards. Stella constructs sculptural and symbolic arrangements that ultimately evoke a reverence for moments in time and places of power. Her process of arranging ordinary materials into extraordinary works reflects the complexity and the depth of the human experience.

Artist Statement:

“I find it difficult to wrap my work up in a statement. The depth and the mystery of ‘ordinary life’ punctuated with the extraordinary is not easily embodied in words for me. Perhaps that’s why I create as I do. These works all emerge from times or places that I experience the marvel, serenity and wonderment at the unknown of which we are all a part. They spring from peace and perplexity, humility and smallness, joy, magnificence and simplicity.

These assemblages of driftwood, random findings, and bottle caps form a timeline of episodes in my work. I arrange these offerings to tell a personal story in symbol and metaphor with each pieces of my work. I work with materials offered up to me along the shores of Lake Superior which have had their appearance already naturally altered by air, water and time. These materials speak to me- as if from antiquity in some daydream of universal truth. Creating layers of altered surfaces, they help me convey layers of emotion and experience. Each piece brings me together with nature my fellow humans, and spirit as co-creators. I see them as soulful souvenirs. They are mementos offered to engage and inspire your connection to the mysterious.

My process always seems to be of a repetitive nature and the outcomes are then patterns of repetition eventually forming a whole.  Bottlecaps hammered flat and carefully layered over wood foundations, resemble topography, the organic shapes of the wood foundation sheathed by the metal suggest protection- like armor or permanence. The textured, reflective surface is synonymous with the greyscale moods of the sky and water of Lake Superior. A sense of vastness emanates from the multitude of sequin-like bottle caps. I like to think of them as mosaics of existence, portals of hope. The resulting constructions embody my time and journeys engaged in finding, composing and creating in service of a purpose; to share stories that speak a universal language. I seek in my work to connect myself, the mystery of being, the wonder of life and the magic of the mundane- with you.”

The exhibition of her work can be viewed in the Besse Gallery from January 14- February 22, 2019. Reception and Artist Talk is Thursday, January 24th at 2 PM.