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Art-A-Whirl

By Lavender May 7, 2010

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Features Remarkable GLBT Artists and Works

The 15th annual Art-A-Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis, presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), features some remarkable GLBT artists and queer-oriented work. Over the weekend of May 14-16, check out various studios and galleries at your own pace for a vast range of new painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, mosaics, and more.

Cody Kiser
Northrup King Bldg. • 1500 Jackson St. NE

Van Gogh meets Picasso in Cody Kiser’s lush brushstrokes and vibrant colors. Even the mundane—for instance, a rocking chair by a window—teems with energetic life. He has been with his partner for more than a decade.

Kiser calls his work “a bridge between the perceptions of what it means to be gay and in a relationship in a home you have created.”

Jon O. Erikson
Svedberg Studio • 3359 Tyler St. NE

Sculptor Jon O. Erikson draws from his experience as a props maker, much of it at the Guthrie Theater. Human and organic forms combine. He makes soft sculpture more rigid in the gay-themed A Nice Young Man… with drapery fabric, resin, and wood.

According to Erikson, his style is “anthropomorphic realism from a homocentric vantage point.”

Reynaldo Diaz
California Building • 2205 California St. NE

Reynaldo Diaz created the stained-glass design Awakening at the Loring Park Community Arts Center. He paints primarily with acrylics.

Diaz says, “Through my paintings, I strive to create inner harmony. I use colors, symbols, and indigenous features that come from my heritage growing up in Nicaragua. I feel a close connection to Mayan, Aztec, and Spanish heritage. Throughout my life, being gay has helped me to connect more easily to my inner feelings, which developed through my life’s experiences. I knew that as I grew up, fear of being rejected from society was one of the factors that opened up those inner feelings. This has made me more spiritual. Some people talk or write about their spirituality. I use color and symbols to communicate, which I consider to be a universal language. And I use geometrical forms in my work, because those forms speak to me.”

Karl Reichert
California Building • 2205 California St. NE

Diaz’s partner is photographer Karl Reichert, whose subject is Miss Richfield 1981. The artist shares that he has been buds with Russ King, Miss R’s alter ego, since college days in Bemidji in the mid-1980s.

Rachel Rodenborg
Eastside Food Co-op • 2551 Central Ave. NE

Ecologically conscious Rachel Rodenborg started collecting mismatched blue and white china when she was in high school, in hopes of learning to create mosaics. That interest has evolved notably. Whether it’s a female torso—as in Pastiche—or a simple ball, she casts a magic spell with her mosaics. Rainbow families may want to make a point of seeing her work, because she currently is launching an in-school art program for K-6 kids.

Rodenborg explains, “My creative philosophy centers around creating accessible art out of recycled, repurposed, and vintage items whenever possible. I want the average person to be able to afford a piece of my work if it inspires them.”

Gail Wallinga
Casket Arts Building • 681 17th Ave. NE

Another lesbian-identified artist is Gail Wallinga of the Rain Collective. As a percussionist, she feels connected to rhythm and beat. That musical concept informs her painting, and vice versa. Her work is reminiscent of sand paintings from tribal cultures of eons ago and of geological layering—with the look of elements under a microscope. It definitely has a sense of nature’s unity and tranquility.

Wallinga states, “Nature has her own pulsing intricacies. I spent years taking close-up photographs, studying the shapes and textures, fascinated by the exquisite designs present in that world. Nature is where I feel most whole and at peace. In painting, I narrate stories of internal and external relationships, and connect them to a sense of well-being. There is the freedom to depict the illusive shadow side as a part of light, the life force in us all.”


Caitlin Karolczak
Rogue Buddha Gallery • 357 13th Ave. NE

Those who want their art to be bold and edgy must catch Caitlin Karolczak, who is in process of creating a GLBT series. She cuts the edge with stark, despairing images that reflect intersex themes, as well as issues of torture and rendition.

Karolczak remarks, “My paintings explore the fragility of the human mind and body, often inspired by my collection of vintage medical photographs in regard to sexuality and gender. I attempt to confront the viewer with an intersection of beauty and distress, hoping that they can get past the initial stigma of what I’m portraying to find a personal connection with the individuals in my paintings.”


Art-A-Whirl

Various Locations, NE Minneapolis
May 14, 5-10 PM
May 15, Noon-8 PM
May 16, Noon-5 PM
www.nemaa.org

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