Friday, May 12, 2017

August 31-October 15, 2017, Rerum Novarum; Monte Pearson Gallery, Pearson Lakes Art Center, Lake Okoboji, Iowa



Pearson Lakes Art Center, Lake Okoboji, Iowa

I have the pleasure of working with the PLAC on my first solo show, Rerum Novarum (of new things).  I will exhibit a total of 8 quilts, 4 of which have never been publicly exhibited, including the  debut of Poppy Field (8'x21' colossal-scale quilt).  The exhibit will also include my 6'x8' self portrait Face of a Stranger
Opening & artist talk: Thursday August 31, 2017 5-7pm.

The Monte Pearson gallery is a beautiful space for the Rerum Novarum exhibit.  I am inspired by the namesake's hand-written statement which is posted just inside the gallery:


"It will be the artists who lead the final revolution - a revolution within each person's soul - until we realize that freedom is not something which is fought for, but something which is found in trusting and loving - as we trust and love each other - we've all got to find that freedom within ourselves to create - to tell them all - let them see the masterpieces of man - and realize what they (each one) holds within himself...we must break down the barriers not by fighting or even by education...  Understanding is all it takes - It is the artists who have lived the longest - for they show the human heart and that is what lasts the longest."             
                                                                                             -Monte Pearson, May 18, 1970



 I could not have put this show together without two of my best friends, 
Frankie Holt (left) and Greg Cotton (right).  It took us 7 hours to hang and light the show!  
Special thanks to Greg who braved the heights on the ladder!
Rerum Novarum (of new things) Artist Statement:


Making art is a privilege, one to which I have dedicated the past 20 years.  I use conventional construction methods to produce unconventional quilts, challenging the line between craft and art.  I welcome self-imposed limits as a disciplined path to explore infinite possibilities within the medium.  All of my work is completed in a 12 x 12 foot studio in my 565 square-foot home.  I could not complete my quilts without collaborative assistance from anonymous (by tradition) Amish hand-quilters.  I am deeply committed to sustaining the art of hand-quilting and eternally grateful to the earnest labor of women I will likely never meet, but whose stitches animate my work.

After completing Face of a Stranger, a 6 x 8 foot self-portrait made of nearly 7,000 one inch pieces, my next project continued to push the boundaries of the medium in both size and content. Poppy Field is intended to be the first in a series of large-scale quilts. At 7.5 x 21 feet it subverts the very notion of a quilt. Billboard proportions aim to deliver a confrontational, immersive, fugue-like visual experience for the viewer. Encoded within the compositional layers of the abstract geometric design is a symbolic sarcophagus containing thirty years of struggle to unearth my biological origins.

Themes that consistently run throughout my work are time, memory and place.  My quilts spring from memories and experience, as well as capture them, especially as each piece is such a time-intensive undertaking.  In contrast to the unpredictability of day-to-day life, the work gives me a strong sense of comfort and place in conception and design, the meditative and repetitive process of construction and finally, the finished piece.  


brief video overview of the show
 Rerum Novarum

 The opening was a success with a well attended Q & A session
with Visual Arts Director Danielle Clouse Gast.
Cross Quarter Embrace v2
Was thrilled to have my aunt Alice Lee Solter (far right) 
and my parents Larry & Maxine Wolfmeyer in attendance
The many friends and family in attendance were by far the greatest reward, including a surprise visit from Lori Cerny and Tracy Wilkerson - friends from my summers in Custer State Park (1989-92) .
(left to right) Larry & Maxine Wolfmeyer, Erick Wolfmeyer, Alice Lee Solter, Frankie Holt, Greg Cotton, Michelle Wieseler, Raymond Caffee, Ella & Richard Cotton, Alan Wieseler, Tam Caffee

It was wonderful to see Poppy Fields on the wall.  Dreams realized.