Opening Final Friday, May 25th with a reception from 6-11 pm is "Four Directions."
Made possible by a grant from the Serpent Source Foundation, this exhibition consists of 60 small works by local artist Michelle Red Elk. Each piece is a framed watercolor and graphite rendering of a story or symbol from Native American mythology and history categorized into one of the four directions, with 15 pieces total for each of the directions. The resulting 60 works fill the gallery with a constantly evolving and disintegrating story, something at once personal and philosophical. It is a narrative that is spoken from the artist's own personal history and from the history of the many cultures that make up the people we know as Native Americans. Michelle does not strive to represent everyone or everything in the least, she has taken stories and symbols that have special meaning to her and articulated them in her own hand, with her own signature and sense.
Individually each piece is softly enrapturing with Red Elk's gentle detailed hand, her characterization of forms and shapes, and her exacting but delicate use of color. The meticulous renderings speak of a love for her subject, while the handling of the medium shows a skill well-honed and used freely.
Together these works are completely captivating, and they surround you with songs and stories that seem to speak to each other and to you. When vistiting her small studio and seeing these works surrounding me on the walls I had the feeling I was being pulled into them, that they were taking me over, slowly but surely covering me in their blanket of stories.
I hope you can come experience her work and see what I mean, I'm sure I've only done the work injustice by trying to put into words the effect it has on the viewer.
The exhibition runs through Sunday, June 24th, with a closing reception that evening from 7-9 pm. Gallery hours are Tues- Sat: 11-3, and Second Sunday June 10th from 12-5 pm.
As always, they'll be plenty of good food, good company, and great art when you come out for Final Friday @ 1305!
See you there!