The Herald Bulletin

January 10, 2013

‘Open Space’ offers new takes on rural scenes

In Review

By Scott L. Miley
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Artistic impressions of nature, from rushing brooks to stirring sunsets, are again on display at The Anderson Center for the Arts in the annual show, “Open Space: Art About the Land.”

The exhibit, which runs here through Jan. 25, is wrapping up its three-county showings after visits to Delaware and Henry counties. The exhibit is sponsored by Minnetrista and the Red-Tail Land conservancy, which is a land trust for east central Indiana. Awards were given to a number of artists who hail from Indiana.

This year’s juror, Shaun Dingwerth, executive director of the Richmond Art Museum, wrote, “I was most interested in works in which the traditional landscape was interpreted in a fresh, bold way.”

Visitors will agree with the assessment. Although there are mixed media works, jewelry, glass and other artwork, most are paintings or photographs. Most are for sale.

For example, look closely at Benjamin Johnson’s glass, egg-like “Adaptive Vitality #1” by Benjamin Johnson of Cicero — an outer shell protects the tiny holes and inner depth.

Suzanne Williams, of Eaton, offers amazingly detailed and crisp digital photographs of her home area’s “Jackson Park” with soft shades of green and in the stunning “Night Watch,” depicting a moon peeking from behind trees at a farmhouse that, somewhat eerily, seems to have light coming from another outdoor source.

Anderson artist Patrick Kluesner, seen around town with brush and easel, displays “Deadwood,” a large branch lying along a river bank; on both sides of the creek, nearby, trees are alive with summer leaves. Leanor Papai, of Anderson, provides a fresh, alive view of a home garden with her pastel “Backyard Larkspur and Poppies.”

“Deus Ex Dali” is a bold, lighthearted work by Tom Butters, of Greens Fork, showing Salvador Dali walking on water while holding a tether attached to a blimp; in the distance a stone-faced Dali is rising from the waters.

Wyatt LeGrand, of Bloomfield, is close to being a journalist by capturing the countryside that is disappearing to a new southern Indiana interstate.

“No Longer: The I-69 Corridor,” an oil work, could be showing a new rising day or a fading sunset as light dimly crosses the sky and brings life to a rural road. A farmhouse is lit by the dawn as electricity wires fade down a hill in his “Rurality.”

Among the most alluring works, Larry Graham’s vibrant “Autumn Morning” shows a road shaped with Japanese watercolors; yellows flow into rust and black lines forming trees and hills. David Foley, of Muncie, uses painstaking detail in forming the bricks of outdated grain silos in his large work, “Icon III;” the detail adds to the melancholy of a lost landmark.

More than 60 artists have works on display through Jan. 25.