The Dining Studio supports our local artists by showcasing their works. One of our present artists is William Brakke. Here, Willie tells us a little about himself and his work:
"I was born and raised in Duluth Minnesota. I went to the College of St.Scholastica, where the art department has excellent instructors but limited facilities. These limitations forced me to find creative ways of experiencing different media. My current work is a direct result of this experimentation.
I paint with aerosols, and I cut intricate and original stencils to create deeply layered images. My fascination with human interaction is reflected in the small decisions in any given painting: from arranging the image, to creating the stencil, to choosing the color composition.The accumulation of these small decisions creates the final piece.
My inspiration comes from exploring on the frontier of the natural and the synthetic, the neglected ally and the curated studio, the human and the wild.
I live, work, and create in the Twin Cities. I presently have pieces showing at the Moto-i in Minneapolis.
The work of being an artist excites me, and I am energized by the challenges to come!"
Our second artist is Jean Wright
A bit about Jean:
"I am a life-long Minnesotan. I live in St Paul and my current studio is in the Grain Belt warehouse building. I have been in love with art-making since childhood, when my best friend’s father would turn us loose in his studio armed with huge sheets of vellum and handfuls of markers.
A result of that experience was an abiding love of layering color. I have worked in fibers using dyed, sheer fabric to create images and in printmaking with multiple layers of highly extended colors.
My current work is encaustic painting. It involves painting with pigmented bee’s wax mixed with Damar resin that is heated to about 225°. Each layer is carefully fused to the next with a torch. When cooled, the layers can be scraped back, carved into, or manipulated in endless ways – alternately concealing and revealing. I love the sense that I am participating in an art form that traces its roots to antiquity; pre-dating Egypt’s famous Fayum mummy portraits circa 80-100 AD. And melted bee’s wax smells heavenly.
I graduated from University of St Thomas with a degree in Theology, and the College of St Catherine in Studio Art. I find that the theology informs the art, and the art gives form to the theology.
I have shown work in the MN State Fair Fine Art Show, at the Catherine G Murphy Gallery at the College of St Catherine, Unity Unitarian Church in St Paul, MN, Flow Art Space in Lowertown, St Paul, George Anderson Gallery at Breck School in Mpls as well as several coffee shops in the Twin Cities."
Jean Wright email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our previous artists was Todd Miller. He was born in Duluth and began taking pictures in the early 1970's with a Kodak Tele-Ektra 300. He could hardly wait to see the prints developed at the nearby Woolworth. He had images of Lake Superior's shoreline, Canal Park and the Ariel Lift Bridge, friends and family, but mostly architecture and the various elements of buildings were the most fascinating to him.
When he moved to Minneapolis in 1984 he began shooting skyscrapers as they were constructed; from groundbreaking to grand-opening. The photos featured earthmoving equipment, the first girders being placed, facade panels and windows attached, then exterior lighting.
He visited New York City for the first time in 1989 and seeing the World Trade Centers was at the top of his priority list of things to see and photograph. He shot three times from the Observation deck. He found using a 35mm camera to be very liberating. In his freshman year at the U of MN he took a single photography course and was hooked.
In recent years he's found himself shooting familiar landmarks in Minneapolis (as well as NYC, France and Germany), manipulating his images with strong saturated color and bold texture, especially with the more historic subjects. He finds energy and dialogue through the accentuation of light and architectural elements.
He's received five American Arts Awards, including First Place nationwide for "Manipulated Photography." He's met so many interesting people who have acquired his work. His images can be found in Target Corp's offices, Black Sheep Pizza, Lotus Vietnamese, Loring Park Rec Center, Uptown Theater lobby and many other local establishments and now also Create!
His facebook page: phoToddgraphy
Todd's phone: 612-822-6984