Tag Archive: Leslie Barlowe

  1. Visage

    Comments Off on Visage

    Visage: A Contemporary Portrait Show –  An exhibition featuring Amit Michaels, CL Martin, Brant Kingman, Hend Al-Mansour, Jade Patrick, Kao Lee Thao, Kelly Helsinger, Kristi Abbott, Leslie Barlow, Mat Ollig, Nell Pierce, Pam Eader, Patrizia Vignola, Stephanie Friest, Surelle Strike, Russ White and Van Holmgren – 17 artists exploring the contemporary lens of society by questioning what defines a modern portrait in a digital age. Curated by Francesca Bernardi.

    Amidst the prevalence of selfies and manipulated images, identity is often blurred. In our exhibit, Visage seventeen Minnesotan/Wisconsin artists have used varied artistic styles through collage, photography, oil, and acrylic paintings to create stunning portraits of figures from their imagination, their peers, and women who have impacted society.

    Visage prompts viewers to reflect on the complexities of identity and perception in today’s digital age, delving into contemporary portraiture by questioning what defines a modern portrait in the 21st century. Each portrait acts as a mirror, connecting the viewer to the subject’s image and a deeper reflection of what it means to be human and how we experience emotion while aiming to cultivate curiosity and foster connections between viewer and artwork.

    “Every artist comes from a unique background, whether an emerging artist in Minneapolis or an established artist that has shown worldwide. As I curated Visage I dove deeply into the intricacies of the modern-day human experience, wanting to encourage visitors to engage with diverse perspectives and appreciate the richness of human expression.” – Francesca Bernardi, Curator

    Friday, May 10th  // 7–10PM
    Featuring: Amit Michaels, CL Martin, Brant Kingman, Hend Al-Mansour, Jade Patrick, Kao Lee Thao, Kelly Helsinger, Kristi Abbott, Leslie Barlow, Mat Ollig, Nell Pierce, Pam Eader, Patrizia Vignola, Stephanie Friest, Surelle Strike, Russ White and Van Holmgren.
    $10 presale available
    • $15 day of the event
    • FREE for members
    • DJ Paul Frett

    Thursday, June 13th // 7– 9PM
    Loose instruction and facilitation by Brant Kingman
    • 18+ event
    • Live nude model
    • $20 to reserve your spot (space is limited)
    • Please bring your own drawing materials

    Saturday, June 22nd 2024 // 7 – 10PM
    A fun-filled evening with muralists painting live in the courtyard, raffle prizes throughout the evening plus music brought to you by House Queens; DJ Sassy G and Michelle Muse!
    • $15 presales coming soon
    • $20 day of event
    • FREE for members 

    Francesca Bernardi is the new Gallery Director and co-owner of Gamut Gallery. They are an art therapist, artist, art collector, and burgeoning curator. Through their work in art therapy, they are a skilled relationship cultivator, attentive communicator, and passionate about building community with multifaceted individuals. Visage is Francesca’s first solo curatorial endeavor. Francesca’s excitement for curating will lead to many more exhibits highlighting artists in Minneapolis.

    Amit Michael is a self-taught artist based in Minneapolis, MN. He started art at a young age after moving to Minneapolis from Be’er Sheva, Israel when he was seven years old. His first group art show was at age nine as part of a youth program at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Amit focused on music as his primary art form when he entered college, he graduated in 2015 from MCTC with an Associate’s Degree in Sound Engineering. He has played many venues as a musician, and recently in the past few years has found his way back to his brush. Much like Amit’s music, his process is improvisational and fluid. Working with a color deficiency inspires him to create high-contrast pieces, featuring many layers of bold patterns and textures within his portraits. He experiments with pronounced motifs and does not paint with a preconceived design, this allows him complete spontaneity leaving him open to the end result.

    CL Martin is a queer, figurative artist working in traditional media. She creates mysterious characters who exude their own distinct identities in a kind of still performance, imbued with diverse influences from history, allegory, design, psychology, and social constructs. She has studied art all her life and received a BFA in Painting from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In 2007, she received an Artist Initiative Grant from the MN State Arts Board and the National Endowment for The Arts. She has exhibited internationally from Italy to New York and her work resides in private collections across the globe.

    Minneapolis artist Brant Kingman trained himself by studying masterworks in the great museums of Europe following graduation from Amherst College in 1976. After returning from abroad, he lived in New York City for seven years booking 62 shows in art venues such as the prestigious PS1 run by MOMA.  Kingman was shot in the chest in 1982. He returned to his hometown of Minneapolis where he maintains a studio in which he paints and creates bronze sculptures for galleries across the United States and in 10 foreign countries. His most recent major exhibits include a show at the Vietnam National Museum of Art in Hanoi and, through April 2018, paintings at MoMA in NYC. Years of exhibiting objects convinced Kingman that object making is but part of the artistic process that fits into the larger envelope of experience design. The artist now considers his primary role that of creating healthy, creative communities.

    As a child, Hend Al-Mansour carved large female figures into sand. Growing up, she was acutely aware of her limited opportunities as a Saudi Arabian woman. So instead of art, she studied medicine in Cairo, Egypt. For many years she practiced as a cardiologist but also built a reputation among her colleagues for the images she drew in the doctors’ rooms. In 1997, Al-Mansour relocated to the United States, where she finally was free to follow her calling: art. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the MCAD and also completed another Master of Art History at the University of St. Thomas. Al-Mansour’s art reflects the female culture of her hometown.  Arabic and Islamic aesthetics influence her work which references gender politics in the Arab world. In vibrant colors, her screen-prints integrate stylized figures, Arabic calligraphy, and designs of Sadou (Bedouin style) and henna. Al-Mansour was awarded McKnight Fellowship in 2018, Jerome Fellowship of Printmaking in 2013/14, the Juror’s Award of the Contemporary Islamic Art exhibition in Riyadh Saudi Arabia in 2012, and Minnesota State Art Board Artist Initiative grant in 2005. She has shown her work in regional, national, and international exhibitions, lectured on Arab art and her journey, and curated exhibitions featuring Middle Eastern artists. Al-Mansour is a co-founder of the group Arab Artists in the Twin Cities and was a member of the Arab American Cultural Institute in Minnesota, where she worked to promote the understanding and expression of Arab culture in the West.

    Kao lee Thaou uses the weapon of coffee my superhero powers are heightened, allowing me to create unique yet stylistic surreal and dream-like landscapes. Her world changed once I picked up a paintbrush.All of her inspirations come from her dreams and personal experiences. With every stroke Kao Lee leaves behind a window into her soul, hoping to spark inspiration in others. Her creations speak to her on a subconscious level defining what the result will be, she opens an inner channel and let my subconscious take over. Kao Lee runs her own 3D animation company called Folklore Studio where they produce animation for television and film. Animation is her window into the world, it enables her to merge her passion for art and love of storytelling to create art that is both personally meaningful and enjoyable for others.

    Kelly Helsinger is a Minneapolis-based artist primarily focused on abstract expressionism. Her work strives to balance chaos and control through color and intricate lines. She holds a multidisciplinary bachelor’s degree focused on art, psychology, and creative writing from St. Cloud State University and has been selling her work professionally since 2010. From 2016 to early 2023, Kelly created under the name “MEA”, an acronym for her blog and alter-ego, Messy Ever After. Messy Ever After stood for embracing creative whims and accepting the chaos within an artistic identity and direction.

    As a collage artist, Kristi Abbott is fascinated with the use of color, pattern, and texture and tries to combine these elements in her work innovatively and excitingly using a combination of papers, paints, and other embellishment materials. Kristi also feels challenged to continue to push the boundaries of technique, subject matter, and provocation.  She is keen to understand some of the driving forces that shape our culture, communities, and social patterns.  Therefore each piece and series is thoughtfully researched and conceptualized to tell a story through the use of familiar imagery richly layered throughout each artwork. Her influences in her work include pop art and pop culture, Hollywood, music, and fashion. Kristi’s technique is still evolving and employs an exploratory and playful process, which can incorporate costuming, photography, graphic manipulation, collage, and painting.

    Leslie Barlow is a visual artist who primarily uses oil painting to embrace and investigate the entangled and elaborate web that comprises the intersections of racial identity, community, love, and belonging. Her work often captures community members in intimate forms that reveal vibrant and vital dimensions. Leslie’s work has been featured in the group exhibitions Rituals of Resistance at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2021–2022), In Search of Lost Time at Dreamsong in Minneapolis (2021), and Creative Confinement at Minnesota’s Rochester Center for the Arts (2020–2021), among others. She has received the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship (2021), the Cultural Community Partnership Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board (2020), and the McKnight Artist Fellowship (2019). Leslie’s work is in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Weisman Art Museum, and US Bank Stadium, among others. Barlow is also a founding member of Creatives After Curfew, a collective of mural artists formed in the summer of 2020, and a founder of Public Functionary’s PF Studios, an incubator and studio program centering on emerging BIPOC artists.

    Mat Ollig is an oil painter living and working in NE Minneapolis, Minnesota. He studied at the Accademia di Bella Arte in Florence, Italy, and graduated from the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, MN prior to receiving his BFA in Painting & Drawing from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in Minneapolis, MN. Mat’s large, multi-faceted paintings were a result of his continued fascination with memory, reality, and perception funneled through the lenses of history and oil painting. Ollig’s influences include the movements of Cubism, Postmodernism, and Relational Aesthetics, as well as the work of artists such as Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, and Alexander Ross. Mat Ollig’s work has been featured nationally, has been awarded the 2016, 2018, and 2020 MN State Arts Board Artists Initiative Grant, and has many paintings in notable permanent collections, including the Hyatt Regency, Schecter Dokken Kanter, Code42, Ogletree Deakins, BI Worldwide, and the Weisman Art Museum.

    Nell Pierce is a collage artist, acrylic painter, muralist, and teaching artist who sees art as a powerful tool for telling both individual and collective stories. They are part of the muralist collective, Creatives After Curfew and have been a facilitator and teacher for over a decade, working with organizations like Telling My Story and the Speaking Out Collective to support people of all ages in schools, community centers, prisons, and other settings to connect to themselves and feel agency in creating their narratives through visual art and theater. In 2024, they started teaching art classes for adults out of their studio. In their practice, they create paintings and collages (primarily portraits) on commission. Nell is currently working on a multi-year series, Q’llage, that explores how the strategies that support them and their queer community to stay true to themselves are mirrored in the natural world — drawing from their own experience and interviews with people in their LGBTQ2IA+ community. 

    Pam Eader is an artist working in oils and acrylics. She focuses on stylized portraiture of women, both real and imagined. She has spent the past 30 years buying and selling antiques and collectibles and draws inspiration from vintage photographs and textiles. Although she has been interested in art from an early age, it wasn’t until 2016 that she decided to pursue it as a career. Pam works out of her home studio in Cedarburg, Wisconsin and her work can be found in studio 159 of the Northrup King building in Minneapolis.

    Artistically, Patrizia Vignola’s interests have always manifested with the human form, more specifically with faces. Although she has strong abilities to capture a likeness, traditional portraiture was never her goal. It was always more about portraying something deeper, more emotional or philosophical about being human. Through the eyes of her subjects, she hopes to speak to the viewer on things about the human condition, the workings of the human brain, the individual on the inside vs. the one perceived on the outside, our connection to each other, the word we inhabit, the universe and our purpose in it. In more recent years, starting just after the birth of her daughter, these ideas began to culminate into thoughts around circumstances we are born into. From the time we are conceived, others have expectations of who we are. We “come with” a socioeconomic background, a cultural identity, stereotypes, gender norms, drug addictions, mental illnesses and so much more all built into us by the people in our family histories. These things we “come with” some wear with pride and some struggle to remove, improve, or change their entire lives.

    Russ White is an artist, writer, and designer living in Minneapolis. Born and raised in the Carolinas and Mississippi, he received a BA in Studio Art from Davidson College and has maintained a studio in the Casket Arts Building in Northeast Minneapolis since 2014. White has exhibited his work regionally and nationally and is the recipient of three Minnesota State Arts Board grants (2018, 2020, & 2022). He also works as Senior Editor for MPLSART.COM and as a Communications Specialist for the University of Minnesota Department of Art. He served on the board of directors for the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association and was editor-in-chief of their annual In Studio magazine from 2018-2020.

    Stephanie Friest explores how portraiture; particularly the uncanny or the unseen can connect to an audience and in doing so, create an emotional and visceral response. The motives that drive her work – as a whole – is her evocation to expose. The central themes are as diverse as her experience as being human. Drawing from these occurrences, Stepahnie’s work uncovers everyday motifs of sexuality, identity, race, gender, motherhood & death; concepts which we may partake in daily, yet sum to include as a significant part of the daily human experience. She is interested in playing with line and color; to blend the two and in doing so, construct a marriage of cohesion. I primarily use oil paints in my artworks, while the foundation of this particular body of work is illustration, which has been created through the use of charcoal and graphite. 

    Whether it is paint or ink, Surrelle Strike creates visual narratives and tells stories with her art. Since the beginning of time, we’ve told stories. Sometimes these tales were an escape into fantasy, but often storytelling was used as a way to teach morals and to share life-or-death advice. Fairy tales would be filled with love, and disappointment, warnings about types of men that a woman may encounter in the woods, or quiet recipes for ending an unwanted pregnancy. Fairy tales and fables were filled with the realities of both tragedy and hope. When she creates, she wants to tell a story, Surrellle wants you to think about what is happening in an image and find a way to connect with it personally. She loves weaving symbolic details into her artwork, to add to the narrative. She hopes you feel empowered, moved, excited or overwhelmed, and that her artwork speaks to you.

    Van Holmgren was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and raised in central Iowa. He has worked as a professional artist for 10 years and as a full-time artist for the last six. His work has been shown across the United States and as far as London, Australia, Canada, and Brazil. There is a certain visual vibrancy that is consistently seen in his work, be it with color or content. Art is an idea, a way to present a statement to the universe and shout as loud as you can. His work depicts the modern human inevitably confronting and negotiating all of today’s experiences. Actions that have happened, will happen and possibly could happen. Much is the same with Van’s more sculptural work, where he presents the viewer with everyday objects revealing silent intentions, often juxtaposing man-made traps with arrows. He uses smoke in his work to show that humans have been there and have done something to the area. Snakes are often used to depict poisonous people who have no intention to help others than themselves. It is the artist’s job to wade through the muck of society to find truths to present to the viewer.

    Jade Patrick is a photographer and visual storyteller, experienced in art curation and filmmaking. Her lens consistently gravitates towards people; unsung heroes, relationship dynamics, and whimsical explorations of light on humanity. Her short documentary “A Life in Opera” (2021) premiered at the Paris Short Film Festival and received many accolades. She loves to document events and live performances, and special moments for friends and families. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and four children.