Surreal innocents on display in gallery

By Mary Davisson

Oct. 21, 2015

While artwork sits in stacks against the walls, Kamie Hoover, a UW-Stout artist exhibited in “In the Realm of Innocents,” drills through a section of false wall already adorned with small copper flowers.

The installation must be complete for the opening on Oct. 19 in the Crossman Gallery where her work, along with the work of twelve other artists, will be shown.

“This is a thousand copper wall flowers that I made,” Hoover said. “It took like six hours to make a hundred. It’s inspired by a poem a friend of mine wrote about flowers being in the walls and in the air all around, and I interpreted it as The Wallflower.”

The show began as a smaller show nearly a year ago at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee with Michael Flanagan, the director of the Crossman Gallery, and his co-curator Kimberly Storage. Flanagan said the two of them noticed a recurring theme amongst other artists and were inspired themselves to put on a larger show.

“The idea of the show is that it looks at fantasy, mythology, literature and narrative storytelling,” Flanagan said. “There are characters in the paintings that seem if they are vulnerable in some way, so they are the innocents in a more challenging world.”

The show combines the works of both established and emerging artists.

Two of the artists, Linnea Bergstrom and Kassandra Grob, are former students, while another is Teri Frame, a current UW-Whitewater faculty member.

“One of the first people we asked was Jean Roberts-Guequierre, who posted some paintings on Facebook and there was something there, I thought we could feed off of that and make this a real interesting exhibit,” Flanagan said.

The works are intended to cover a lot of ground with the stories they tell and with how those stories are told, Flanagan said.

A viewer will see a variety of disciplines in the exhibit from paintings and drawings to sculpture and metals.

“It’s all very colorful and surreal,” Hoover said. “I’m excited to see all this work. I did some research on a lot of the artists and they seem like phenomenal people and I can’t wait to see these close up.”

The Crossman Gallery is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. In the Realm of Innocents will then continue until Nov. 14.