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What is 'Des Moines Arts Festival® Curated'? 'Curated' is a collaboration between the Des Moines Arts Festival® and Silent Rivers Design+Build. An art exhibit and creative experience, Chaden Halfhill, Founder and CEO of Silent Rivers, curates the show using artists juried into the current year festival. The show is on display at Olson-Larsen Galleries mid-May through the week of the festival where it is then housed in the Silent Rivers VIP Club.

Measuring Humanity

Curatorial Statement by Chaden Halfhill

Inspiration for the 2021 DMAF Curated exhibition was derived from artists’ need to measure and observe human presence, seeking to understand and reveal our ever-evolving and intertwined dependence upon humanity’s environs. Whether exploring the nostalgia of memories distorted by decades of commercialization to finding stillness and beauty within a millennium of geological degradation. Our recollection of belonging, including a deep sense of place, is intrinsically bound to our need to measure and establish familiar, even archetypical, patterns. As the 2021 Des Moines Arts Festival reemerges after a year of solitude and isolation, society has begun to compare itself to the milestone and influence of a global pandemic. Our perceptions of time and memory are distorted by emotional intensively and as well as public policy, both mutually influenced by the other, and we begin to demarcate boundaries and establish visual, if not psychological, frameworks to collectively comprehend our place within an abruptly changing world.

The visual interplay of ceramic earthen forms with photographic or painted wall pieces in this exhibition helps to reinforce the physical embodiment of this year’s theme, while also adding a more dynamic juxtaposition of physical memory with that of traditional two-dimensional narratives. It is my aspiration to activate the dialogue and expand curatorial storytelling potential. So often, activation of this third dimension within a collection can be intimidating, foreign to some, yet the outcomes can be both exciting and amplified. Expanding upon this intersection, we incorporated elements of furniture and functional objects into gallery vignettes, adding the placement of textiles, which provide a visual as well as a historical reference. Same as the pottery. Often the placement of art within the residential context is hard for people to translate, and this exhibition strives to encourage a creative fusion of objects d’art at home, adding inspiration and meaning within households as well as personal lives.

The act of measuring our past as well as comparing it with the present offers the ability to expand our consciousness, deepening our individual awareness and exploration through the art we collect and integrate within our lives. This helps to broaden a deeper understanding of ourselves and our presence within the world, fostering a sense of well-being and mindfulness.

Many thanks to the eight artists that participated in this year’s DSM Curated: Chris Dahlquist, Anna Segner, Erica Iman, Mike Bose, Judith Eastburn, Linda Lewis, Reiko Uchytil and Kelly Marshall.

I am grateful for their participation and assistance with the work. Please enjoy the combination of works and be sure to share with a friend. Visit with the artists at the upcoming Des Moines Arts Festival in later June.

On display at Olson-Larsen Galleries The Living Room:

Mike Bose

Mike was first exposed to pottery in SE Asia at a young age, then later studying ceramics at Northwest Missouri State University, He has been dedicated to ceramics as an art form and been working and exhibiting at the finest art shows in the country for over thirty years.

Chris Dahlquist

Chris' work like the relatively nascent discipline of photography has experienced constant transformation. Inextricably linked to science and technology photography has undergone constant change in media, materials, and techniques since its origins in the early 19th century. It is from her lifelong study of this photographic history that she draws inspiration across the length of her 20-year studio practice that blends contemporary technology with historic processes and materials.

Early photographers were object makers, creating a tactile object that showed not only the subject but also containing artifacts of the creator’s hand, photographs were rare and precious items that became treasured items for their owners. It is this spirit that is the constant within her changing artwork - creating singular photographic objects, that despite the use of digital technology include the introduction of her hand, that use the choice of material and construction to further the story of the photograph beyond the image.

Judith Eastburn

Judith holds an MFA in photography from The University of Iowa, and has taught courses in photography at levels ranging from children to university students. Her photographs are gelatin silver prints, made in a traditional darkroom. They have been included in 32 juried exhibits and 12 one-person shows.

Erica Iman

Erica Iman is a sculptor and painter working primarily in clay and raw earth materials with forms based in geology and fragmented landscapes. In 2005, between earning her BFA, BSE, and MFA degrees, she served 2 years in the U.S. Peace Corps on the Eastern Steppe of Mongolia teaching English and Gardening while exploring the Gobi desert and Altai Mountains. In 2007, she was a selected participant in the International Workshop for Ceramic Arts in Tokoname, (IWCAT) Japan program, spending the summer studying contemporary and ancient Japanese pottery and culture.
Erica is currently a studio artist in Kansas City, MO, is a founding member of the KC Urban Potters, and an Artist Inc. facilitator. She has taught in various schools and art centers, recently participated in Steinbeisser’s Experimental Gastronomy dinner in San Francisco and will be part of an upcoming show at Direktorenhaus Art Museum in Berlin.

Linda Lewis

Linda's sculptures are shown throughout the country and can be found in juried exhibitions and art festivals, solo and group exhibitions, and public collections and museums.

Kelly Marshall

"My artwork is an expression of color and pattern created through the timeless process of weaving. "

Kelly Marshall's textiles are inspired by traditions, from historic patterns to modern abstractions. Color is examined in the detailed blending of the threads, while undulating texture creates visual shadows and tactile pleasure. Created for functional use and decoration, Marshall's textiles bring beauty to the ordinary and add celebration to everyday living.

The traditional Scandinavian rep weave technique perfectly complements Marshall's linear design style. The cotton and linen yarns are tightly interlocked with alternating thick and thin weft threads, giving textural dimension and luxurious sheen to this flat weave structure.

Marshall was influenced artistically at an early age by her grandmothers, both professional fiber artists (one a seamstress and knitter, the other a milliner). Marshall received her bachelor of science degree in textile design from the University of Minnesota in 1987. She studied weaving structure and design for one year in Forsa, Sweden.

Anna Segner

A Minnesota native, Anna Segner, is a writer, teaching professor, and studio artist focused in painting, mixed media and assemblage. In her practice, Anna incorporates critical animal studies and other research to question the human act of “toying” with animals and nature. Anna earned her MFA from Iowa State University in spring of 2019, and she graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature with Writing Emphasis and Studio Art. Between studies she worked as a newspaper reporter in southern Minnesota. She currently teaches drawing in the Department of Art and Visual Culture at Iowa State University.

Reiko Uchytil

Reiko's journey with clay has been a lifelong one, she grew up in a potters studio. She is a second-generation artist. She finds herself blessed and fortunate to study under master ceramicist, Miky and the late Steve Cunningham (aka Mom and Dad). She began doing shows in 2013 as an emerging artist at the Des Moines Arts Festival®. She studied at the University of Iowa, receiving a BA in Health and Human Physiology, BA in Psychology, and a minor in Dance. But through it all she maintained her passion and love for art, particularly ceramics. She continues to explore the endless possibilities and versatility of clay. She is not a potter but an artist. Clay is her vehicle of choice to transport her imagination into the physical world.

Her current predominant processes are achieved through Sgraffito and Mishima. Sgraffito. “A form of decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color, typically done in plaster or stucco on walls, or in slip on ceramics before firing.” She loves the bold graphicness of the black and white finish and to top it off by adding a pop of color (usually red). Through Mishima, she can create a similar boldness through an opposite way of thinking and working. Mishima is " a technique of inlaying slip, underglaze, or even clay into a contrasting clay body, the main clay body of the pottery piece." This technique allows for extremely fine, intricate design work with hard, sharp edges that can be difficult to reliably replicate in any other way.

203 5th Street in Valley Junction

OLSON-LARSEN GALLERIES is a contemporary gallery representing over 50 of the finest artists in the Midwest. Located in Historic Valley Junction in West Des Moines, Iowa, Olson-Larsen fulfills its commitment to original art through exhibitions and support services for clients ranging from individuals to corporations.

Our hours of operation are 11-5, Tuesday-Friday,
11-4 on Saturday & by appointment.

For inquiries email info@olsonlarsen.com

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