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Harmonizing Dimension: Exploring Motion, Time, and Rhythm 

Selections from the Permanent Collection 

West Gallery

January - December 30, 2025

Curators Statement:

“Even in stillness, there is movement.” – Anonymous

 

Visitors can embark on an artistic odyssey with "Harmonizing Dimensions," a curated collection delving into the intricate interplay of motion, time, and rhythm. This transformative exploration shapes and defines the creative landscape, leaving an enduring imprint on the ever-evolving art world.

As we navigate the swift tapestry of the 21st century, our understanding of motion, time, and rhythm in art undergoes a profound transformation. Technological advancements and global connectivity dissolve traditional boundaries, providing artists with new realms to explore.

Step into this odyssey at the Blanden, where artworks come alive dynamically, transcending conventional expressions. Let the masterpieces converge in your mind, facilitating a harmonious dialogue between motion, time, and rhythm. Across diverse mediums, artists showcase how movement breathes life into their works, time influences narratives, and rhythm orchestrates unique artistic experiences.

Working in varied mediums, these artists share a profound grasp of the interplay among fundamental forces. Witness how motion is captured in brushstrokes, time in sculpture, and rhythm in the arrangement of forms and colors. The exhibition encourages an exploration of the dynamic relationship between the static and kinetic, tangible, and ephemeral, finite, and infinite – offering profound insights into the role of motion, time, and rhythm in shaping artistic expression.

"Harmonizing Dimensions" invites you on a transformative journey where motion, time, and rhythm converge, unlocking uncharted realms of artistic expression. Celebrate the visionary contributions of artists worldwide as they entice us to delve into the profound mysteries within these elemental dimensions.

May this exhibition inspire you to embrace the ever-shifting dynamics of life, fostering a deeper appreciation for the interconnected dance of motion, time, and rhythm in the realm of art.

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The Unchosen Ones

RJ Kern 

East Gallery

May 4 - July 20, 2024

 

Artist Statement:

In 2016, I made portraits of youth contestants at Minnesota county fairs. Each participant—some as young as four years old— spent a year raising an animal, which they entered into a 4-H livestock competition. None of the youth I photographed succeeded in winning an award, despite the obvious care they have given to their animal.

Four years later, in 2020, I returned to photograph the young subjects, asking them what they carried forward from their previous experience. Some of them have continued to pursue animal husbandry while others developed other interests. We imagine some of these kids will choose to continue running their family farms, an unpredictable and demanding way to make a living.

As I created the second group of photographs, I asked them what were their thoughts, their dreams, and their goals for the future? How do they fit in the future of agricultural America?

The Unchosen Ones depicts the bloom of youth and the mettle of the kids who grow up on farms, reminding us how resilient children can be when confronted with life’s inevitable disappointments. The formal quality of the lighting and setting endow these young people with a gravitas beyond their years, revealing self-direction dedication in some, and in others, perhaps, the pressures of traditions imposed upon them. The portraits capture a particular America, a rural world, and a time in life when the layered emotions of youth are laid bare. 

Bio:

R. J. Kern (b. 1978) is an American artist whose work investigates ideas of home, ancestry, and a sense of place. His portraits focus on intimate, interdependent relationships of people, animals, and landscape as a means of exploring how ancestry shapes identity and how myth intertwines with personal history. His camera has led him from an inquiry into his lineage in the farming communities of Scandinavia and Ireland to the examination of similar communities near his home in Minnesota. Increasingly, his attention has been captured by the next generation of young people, who may or may not be the stewards of rural communities and economies in the future.

 

Inspired by master landscape painters of the 19th-century, Kern embraces the heightened expressivity of natural and artificial lighting techniques. To draw sharper connections between traditional and modern farming routines, he adopts both historical and current photographic processes. While illuminating the ephemeral beauty of youth, Kern probes the current realities of agrarian practices, aspiring to enhance awareness and interest in the changing face of American pastoral life. 

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ITALIAN STUDIES

Margaret Bohls

Second Floor Gallery

May 4 - June 22, 2024

 

Artist Statement:

My work is grounded in an abiding interest in historical vessel forms, and in the social context of these objects. My methodology for creating new work often begins with a study of a particular set of historical vessels. I strive to identify a set of physical, formal attributes of these objects that visually communicate something about the culture that produced them or the era during which they were created. I do this through a close visual examination of the objects and by making drawings of the objects. In these drawings I   attempt to distill the objects down to what I consider to be their critical visual and formal characteristics. These drawings become the basis for the creation of a series of ceramic forms of my own. 

 

The “Italian” series is based on an examination of several types of historical ceramics produced on the Italian peninsula: Etruscan Bucchero and Impasto ware, Medici Porcelain, and Italian Majolica Antica.  After traveling to Italy and London and visiting a number of museum collections, I have spent the last year producing drawings and vessels based on my understanding of these forms and the particular form language embedded in them. These particular groupings of vessels are based on objects from the Villanovan and Etruscan civilizations, both the courser Impasto ware and the more refined Bucchero ware, and on vessels from ancient Apulia on the southeastern part of the Italian peninsula. These still-life-like groupings in some ways mimic the didactic, catalogic museum installations I have been studying. I see these pieces as sculptural “sketches” or studies. 

Bio:

Margaret Bohls makes hand-built pottery and vessel forms that she shows and sells both locally and nationally. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 1989, and an MFA from Louisiana State University in 1995. She has been teaching ceramics at the college level for over twenty-five years. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. She has exhibited her work throughout the country in both solo and group exhibitions. She has written articles for the Journal of the National Council for Education on Ceramic Arts, Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated, and Studio Potter Journal.

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Upcoming!

Additional information forthcoming for the following:

                           ​​

  • Jack Dant - Second Floor Gallery

    • A World Observed - Paintings (July 13 - Sept 21, 2024)​

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