The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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August 22, 2013

Conkling schedule set; Frink kicks off with recent work

MANKATO — Longtime Minnesota State University art instructor Brian Frink is marking the occasion of his recent appointment with an exhibit of his recent work at the Conkling Gallery.

Frink's exhibit — which opens Monday and remains on display through Sept. 11 — is the gallery's first of the season and comes on the heels of the announcement that Frink will replace James Johnson as chair of the art department.

Frink said the appointment comes at a transformative time in his career. Only a few years removed from the artistic "epiphany" that prompted him to begin painting large-scale pet portraits in addition to his more gestural and abstract work, Frink said he's begun thinking of his work in terms of genre.

"I enjoy the tension between these different styles," he said. "If I can paint these dogs, why ignore that? Why not use that?"

But with change comes risk and Frink said he wants to use the vulnerability he felt as an artist changing his style to inform his leadership style as department chair.

"I would've thought I was nuts," said Frink when asked what a younger version of himself might say if he knew of the stylistic crossroads that lie ahead. "But, as an artist, shouldn't that be the kind of work you're doing?"

Frink's exhibit will include several examples of his pet portraits as well as his "Memory of Water" series.

Additional MSU art and gallery events include:

Conkling Gallery

Brian Frink's sabbatical exhibition: Aug. 26-Sept. 11; reception 7 p.m. Sept. 9.

Works by Gary Freeburg: Sept. 16-Oct. 2; reception Sept. 30, following 7 p.m. Art Enrichment Lecture.

Works by Randy Regier: Oct. 7-23; reception Oct. 7 following 7 p.m. Andreas Endowment Lecture.

Wesley Taylor's Master of Arts Exhibition: Oct. 28-Nov. 6; reception 7 p.m. Oct. 28 .

Senior Show 1: Nov. 11-20; reception 7 p.m. Nov. 11.

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