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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011

'Quiet' Speaks Volumes at Walker's Point Center for the Arts

Art Review

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Walker's Point Center for the Arts provides an exquisite opportunity for personal reflection, as curator Josie Osborne exposes the deceptively simple beauty of serenity in the exhibition "Quiet."

Osborne invited a trio of artists to express the aesthetics of quietness through various media.

The front gallery features the works of Tyler Meuninck, whose delicate renderings use graphite on ivory paper to uncover urban landscapes. By blurring the gray-shaded graphite with representational and less defined objects, Meuninck's Hospitality Series #1, #2 and #3 portray dream-like scenes of comforting solitude.

Kevin Giese's installation transports the observer to Wisconsin's natural environments. Stand at either end of Giese's hand-carved wood piece Original River, which is filled with golden grains of Mississippi River quartz, and peer down the curving miniature riverbed: The visual experience makes unpleasant thoughts slowly drift toward tranquil healing.

For the floor installation Teacher, Teacher, Giese seamlessly pieced together more than two-dozen reeds gathered from indigenous marshland. The tall-feathered reeds almost reach the two-story ceiling, swaying softly in the air as if trying to touch the heavens. The subtext in Giese's title for the mirror-like installation imparts multilayered meanings upon which to meditate.

The second gallery responds to quiet via Melanie Pankau's striking triptych suspended from the ceiling by transparent filament. Three works of graphite on drafting film—Giving & Receiving, Weight and Saturated—feature abstract patterns and have titles that are open to individual interpretation. These double-sided images respect those secret places hidden inside the human imagination. In this intimate gallery space, the white-on-white palette colored only with the drawings' fine, shadowed lines creates a sensual journey in a cloud-filled sky.

This exhibition reminds viewers that quietude can refresh and renew the spirit. When listening for unspoken words, sometimes one can discover the world's more obscure treasures.

"Quiet" continues through Sept. 3.
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