WHERE: Rosalux Gallery, 1011 Washington Ave. S
Bright watercolors, photographs of the Minnesota state Capitol and old to-do lists intermingle and fall together to form “Mindful Meander,” a new exhibition at the Rosalux gallery. The works were created by two alumni, David Malcolm Scott, who studied architecture, and Amy Crickenberger Oeth, who earned her degree in art.
Amidst the exposed brick walls and industrial piping of the Rosalux gallery, Scott and Oeth worked up until two hours before the exhibition’s opening to frame artwork, choose proper placing and even put the final touches on a few pieces for the show.
The Rosalux gallery is a co-op that allows member artists to show for one month a year. Scott and Oeth, though not similar in creative process, are a dazzling duo whose similar mediums expose an understated beauty in the blankness of a prairie or the emotion behind what appears to be an unsystematic creation.
Both artists work in vivid watercolor and dabble experimentally in mixed media, but their styles are completely unique. Scott’s vibrant panoramas are intricately sculpted prairies and cities that were inspired by “a ton of road trips.” He added, “I really like the blankness [of the prairie]. It’s really honest.” Oeth’s effervescent abstract works lined with bright pink roses and brown circles are an exercise in self- expression.
Scott’s “Autumn Alterations” stretches across the giant gallery wall in a melodic assembly of rich crimsons and deep yellows. Scott puts the mechanical skills he learned while studying architecture to use in pieces like “River Road Romp #3,” another striking panorama that follows the Mississippi River along its journey through Minnesota, stretching from Lake Itasca all the way down to Fort Snelling. The bright blue river is lined with landmark buildings and familiar scenery.
Oeth takes an altogether different approach to art. Most of her pieces for the show were created in just the past six months. She explained, “[Art] is more of a therapeutic process, a stream of consciousness.” She aims at creating work that is “not conceptual — more organic.”
Growing up in New York City in the ’80s heavily influenced her work and the way she views the world. Several of her pieces, like “Friendship Medley,” a smattering of brilliant orange circles, scribbled black background and dark blue paper clippings, are abstract and emotional, but Oeth said it’s not necessary to find some specific meaning in them.
Oeth sits and works for a few hours and decides if she likes the piece after it’s complete. She said that sometimes “I finish and look at the whole piece and toss it right into the garbage. … [The gallery’s] pieces are what I liked more.”
The two artists intertwine in their examination of the seemingly simple: a blank span of grassland or a night of artistic meditation. The exhibition’s beauty is of the purest form, each piece a brilliant escape from the trammeling bustle of the city.
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