Upcoming campus artist receptions

Art by Stella Larkin

"There You Are" by Stella Larkin

On Thursday, January 24th at 2 PM the Opening Reception and Artist Talk for Stella Larkin’s, "There You Are" exhibit was held. Her works will be displayed until February 22, 2019 in the Besse Gallery.

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.”

Brady Nelson wearing a red shirt and smiling

New Works by Brady Nelson 

Please join us in the Hartwig Gallery on Tuesday, January 29th at 2 PM for the Opening Reception and Artist Talk with Brady Nelson. The exhibition of Brady’s work can be viewed in the Hartwig Gallery from January 17- February 22, 2019. 

Artist Statement

“My name is Brady Nelson. I was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My parents always encouraged me in my life‐long love of art. I acquired a strong foundational education in art while obtaining my BFA from Northern Michigan University’s School of Art & Design in Marquette, Michigan. My art education has continued with consistent independent formal studies in all forms of art and Education practices such as, photography, printmaking, reproductions, graphic design, sculpture, pictorial illustration, drawing, oil painting, and educating from grade school, college, individual, and group teaching. The resulting works reveal a personal and contemporary expression of beauty and pays homage to the Classical Tradition in its craftsmanship.

As a Portrait Painter, I strive to unite the physical and spiritual characteristics of each person I paint while looking to explore illuminated moments within our seemingly ordinary lives. Conveying the embodiment of my sitter is paramount. To attain the desired results and effects I meld master techniques of the past such as, Sfumato, Verdaccio, Grisaille, and Chiaroscuro. With diligent practices, I have developed a unique style, melding these techniques.

My art expresses a conception of life, emotion, and inward truth. My portraits are neither a confessional nor a frozen paroxysm; rather a metaphor and non‐discursive representation that articulates what is vocally ineffable.”