By Tanner Kent
---- — MANKATO -- Visitors to the 410 Project's Wheelworks Exhibit should take note of Meri Bush's "Tree Trike."
With lithe and skillful interpretation, the artist used found materials to reconstruct a common child's plaything. The materials suggest the spontaneous and unpredictable adventure that awaits when a child masters its first mode of wheeled transportation. The pink string that joins the pieces of the twig frame highlight the artist's perception of bicycling as a recreational pursuit, rather than aesthetic pursuit.
The bike is small, somewhat disproportionate, with rocks for wheels. The seat is slim and the handlebars are high. Though grounded in realism, the piece seems highly expressive -- especially for an artist who's only 8 years old.
Bush's creation is just one of about 30 works included in the 410 Project's Wheelworks exhibit, which was coordinated in collaboration with Key City Bike. As 410 director Dana Sikkila noted, both organizations are community-focused and volunteer-operated, making them natural partners for such a show.
In addition to Bush's trike, the exhibit includes a homemade rat bike fashioned by North Mankato artist Reed White, several paintings and drawings, and Pat Kelly's fully functional chair made entirely from tire tubes and rims.
The opening reception for the exhibit will be held Saturday at the gallery, 523 S. Front St. At 3 p.m., the 410 is hosting a scavenger hunt throughout the downtown area. The reception begins at 5 p.m. and live music featuring Union Suits and Crash Cuddle begins at 9 p.m. The first 50 visitors to the gallery on Saturday will receive a 410/Key City spoke card for their bicycles. The event will also include art activities, printmaking and bike-sculpture building beginning at 5 p.m.
Admission to all events is free.
Carnegie drawing exhibit
A trio of drawing styles are on exhibit at the Carnegie Art Center.
Exhibited in the Fireplace Room are the drawings created by a group of St. Peter artists that meet regularly to draw in a classical, posed style.
In the Rotunda Gallery, drawings from John Finkler's "Whispers on the Wind" series are featured. The drawings are peppered with references to classical literature and pop culture, and combine elements of the whimsical, Gothic and absurd.
And in the Cook Gallery, Jill Stoffregen's "Modern Archaic Drawings" tap heavily into the artist's interest in anthropology to create works imbued with a sense of legacy and historical import.
The opening reception will be held 7-9 p.m. on Saturday at the gallery, 120 S. Broad St. Admission is free. The works will remain on display through June 29.