Exhibition explores connection between visual art and literature

Published 9:00 am Sunday, January 13, 2019

The written word receives new life at the Freeborn County Arts Initiative thanks to a show celebrating interaction between art forms.

Freeborn County Arts Initiative incoming president Marla Klein said pieces in “Theatre of the Mind” can be inspired by quotes, novels, advertisements, song lyrics — any written word.

“We’re excited to see what, the reason why people chose what they did and what inspires them,” Klein said.

Email newsletter signup

The Arts Initiative board had the idea for a few years now, and Klein said now seemed like the right time to make it happen.

“We just really like the theme a lot,” she said.

Artists have taken the prompt in their own directions in creating approximately 25 pieces spanning mediums from paint to textile to photography to sculpture and more, all on display starting Saturday.

Three of those pieces include acrylic on canvas creations from the mind of artist Haim Park. This is Park’s first time displaying artwork at the Freeborn County Arts Initiative. The trio, “Campanella,” “Ceaseless” and “The Coronation,” are all inspired by a Korean poem whose title roughly translates to “Flower,” Park said. It’s a short poem, but it speaks of an ungendered figure — whom Park interpreted as a female — who, before her name was called, was just a movement, then became a flower.

As the show asks artists to consider inspiration from literature, the show also includes books created by artists. Two of these books are Susanne Crane’s, whose painting “Pillars of the Earth” is based on a Ken Follett work. Sarah Kocher/Albert Lea Tribune

It’s about movement. The word is onomatopoeic in Korean, and usually associated with small animals, like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings.

“Campanella” is the first piece Park painted. She typically works with ink.

“I read it and I just (thought), ‘Ah, I feel like this would be a perfect painting I could present my ideas with,” Park said.

The trio of pieces joins other works in Park’s repertoire inspired by literature. Some pieces were for her own frame of reference — buildings sketched out to help Park visualize descriptions in Ayn Rand books — while others were watercolors based on song lyrics.

Klein said the Freeborn County Arts Initiative is excited to showcase more artists from across the Midwest through this show and future shows.

“I’m excited, personally, for this show, because I get to see what inspires other people with their artwork,” Klein said.

The Freeborn County Arts Initiative is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The gallery will host a closing artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. March 2.

Tickets, please

Who: Freeborn County Arts Initiative

What: “Theatre of the Mind”

When: The show opens Saturday, with a closing artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. March 2.

Where: Freeborn County Arts Initiative gallery, 224 S. Broadway Ave., Albert Lea

How much: Free to the public


About Sarah Kocher

Sarah covers education and arts and culture for the Tribune.

email author More by Sarah