Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Olson-Larsen expands


Image by Randy Richmond

There are all kinds of cool things going on at Olson-Larsen Galleries. For starters, the gallery recently acquired the building next door, which used to be a bank. Now it’s an art gallery with a vault. That makes Olson-Larsen a three-building gallery as they acquired the gallery a block east last summer. 

Multiple shows are going on now, one virtual and one on the walls of the original gallery. Kala’i Blakemore is a native Hawaiian artist who explores indigenous relationships with the environment. “I portray indigenous relationships to land, which are kindred, inseparable and familial. In recent years, my work has pictured tactile, bodily and skewed spaces which disrupt colonial relationships to land. Parts of my research regarding perceptions of the environment have been informed by mo’olelo (stories) and ‘Ōlelo No’eau (proverbs) that directly tie people to their homeland,” she explained.  

In recent work, she portrayed the human form physically embedded in Hawaiian landscapes. This work joins the fleshy, bodily forms of pahohoe (ropy textured lava) and imagery of hair, anatomy and fabric to create a sensual space. Solid basalt landscapes are shown not as stagnant and inanimate but as tangled spaces in a constant state of change. In print, video and installation works, she imagines the earth as a large, interconnected object, like the movement of tectonic plates.

Laura Crehuet Berman is a native of Barcelona, Spain, where her love for pattern, design and bold colors originated. Her work’s focus on relationships and recombination of forms relates to her nomadic history of relocation and travel. “I have spent a lot of time in the middle of Kansas for the past few years. The Flint Hills region is a vast landscape of nothingness — no trees, no dwellings, no people — it’s akin to being out at sea. Out there the distance between sky and land is very short and unmediated. I am equally mesmerized by the minuscule and the monumental, supernovas exploding into far away galaxies and ancient oddly shaped pebbles that have never been touched before. My work reflects the connections between these expanses and details within space, and how even the smallest action can create a cascade of events and phenomena,” she explained. 

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“Flat File Feature” is up through April 2. The gallery will host an event on Saturday, March 26 from 12-4 p.m. highlighting works on paper by gallery artists not often seen that are stored in the gallery’s flat files.  

Their annual Small Works Show will be up through March 19. Currently there is an exhibition featuring Randy Richmond, Jim Sincock and Crit Streed.

“While photography has always been my main creative outlet, I am also an abstract painter and experimental audio soundscape artist and have been doing both for almost as long as my photography. I was trained in fine art photography at Milwaukee Center for Photography (1985) and Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (1987). I ran my own commercial photo studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and later in Boulder, Colorado, where I specialized in small product photography, which definitely influenced my fine art still life work,” Sincock explained. ♦

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Summer Stir - June 2024