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Summer show at Grand View demands to be seen

Artifact: That Which Remains, Rasmussen Center Gallery (Grand View)

May 11th - August 3rd 2012

Mimi Solum, Fran, Earl (wire, paper mache, plaster & paint), Louise (wire, paper mache, popcorn & paint)

Review by Rachel

July 5, 2012

Two cohesive multi-media explorations by two recent Grand View graduates are on view at the Rasmussen Center Gallery. They both examine how objects come to represent the passage of time by offering proof of what has been. Each approach reaches inside their collection of objects and constructs new associations within the context of their show. 

Mimi Solum

Installation shot of the work by Mimi Solum

Upon entering the gallery, you are greeted by three massive creatures with pouting gazes which act as oversized guardians of the space. They are blown up versions of ceramic animal planters and figurines used throughout Mimi Solum’s investigation. By first encountering their large-scale, squirmy cuteness, you find your own scale altered and you shrink into the arrangements of the small collectables to follow.

Watercolors, collaged drawings and embroidered versions of Solum’s collectables continue to distort scale. Why is Solum drawn to these kitschy keepsakes? She stacks collectable colorful tins in a box built of barn wood. The box is hung at eye level for you to easily compare their individual shapes and patterns. Each was designed to be a beautiful object beyond its original container function. Inside is a special and sacred space. 

“Ninety Passages”, ninety teacups hang in a grid. This is a portrait of Solum’s grandmother through her grandmother’s collection. 

What is Solum’s affinity to these specific objects? Why collect these objects? What do our collections represent about us? What is the function of a collection of objects after they have been collected? Solum described an identification with the ceramic animals. She saw her self as the animal and mentioned a search for home as she is currently in a nomadic situation without geographical home base. Her collection has no home, yet these are the type of things kept that would anchor someone to a home base.

Mimi Solum's “Refuge”, ceramic planters

Jolynn Reigeluth “Stranger in a strange Land”

Surveillance taps from Stranger in a Strange Land

Enter into what feels like a domestic dwelling. Curtains over the windows darken the room. You’ve slipped into a private space, an office setting where someone has been collecting data, photographs, sketches and surveillance tapes. Familiar tools hang on the wall, but they’ve been oddly changed. Their function can’t quite be understood. This place feels authentic, but it’s a stage. From corner to corner, the connections between the collection of evidence build into a narrative of this other world Reigeluth has been trying to catch herself traveling to.

Installation shots from Jolynn Reigeluth’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”

It’s junky, lots of beautiful junk accumulated for a great investigation. It’s convincing too.  All the way down to the boots with freshly dropped dirt placed next to the desk, lamp and map.  Reigeluth told me she knew it would be convincing when she almost completely believed in this other world herself. She is inviting you to explore what she’s discovered about this other place and the types of creatures that reside there.

The work in Artifact is beautiful, exciting and well thought out. I wouldn’t miss this show. It’s up for one more month so take advantage before they dismantle the installations. 

I also recommend watching their promotional videos on their event page. Further information about the show can be found here. Gallery hours are generous: Monday-Thursday 8-9 and Friday 8-5