The Free Press, Mankato, MN


April 18, 2013

Judging inaugural Carnegie juried exhibit an unenviable task



Though five juror-selected Awards of Excellence will be distributed during Saturday’s opening reception, I’ve compiled a few more of the pieces that caught my eyes (in no particular order):

-- “No Child,” by Jon Knecht: Behind a wall of flecking and imperfect inorganic glass, a desolate image of blowing snow is interposed by the curious addition of an empty desk and chair, leading the viewer to wonder what has become of the student.

-- “Long Prairie Saturday Night” by Gwen Ruff: In this watercolor by the Gibbon author and painter (one of three Ruff paintings selected for the exhibit), Ruff achieves an extraordinarily dark color palette that highlights both the warmth and isolation of a deserted main street in her hometown: “It’s a little bittersweet,” she said.

-- “Laundry Baskets,” by Rachel Compart: In a pair of abstract works, the Minnesota State University master’s student grounds the struggle between chaos and control in routine, domestic existence: “Everyday life is what moves me emotionally and makes me think and do things and keep going.”

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