The Long View

Tom Maakestad

April 25-June 6, 2015

The Long View

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 25, 2-5 p.m.

Artist Demonstration: Saturday, May 16, 1-3 p.m.

Raised in rural Northfield in a family of artists among a community of farmers, Tom Maakestad’s aesthetic is deeply rooted in the Minnesota landscape. Best known for his pastel and oil paintings of rural country roads, rolling hills tilled for planting and large, atmospheric skies, Maakestad’s newest body of work re-examines traditional landscape painting.

For this exhibition, Maakestad sought to explore the visual intersections between the landscape and human infrastructure. Maakestad engaged the services of a local pilot to fly him over the same terrain he’s been painting from a ground-level perspective for decades. Combining aerial and ground-level vantage points in a single composition allowed him to experiment with color and form in a new way. Painted with loose, airy brush strokes, Maakestad’s canvases reveal the delicate balance between the sometimes unruly vegetation and waterways of Minnesota’s topography and the rigid networks of the state’s roads and agricultural industry. In his oil paintings, a bridge passes through a sprawling swamp; crops divide a farmstead into a colorful grid; a paved highway winds along the edge of the Mississippi River. For Maakestad, these man-made intrusions provide a sense of organization to his compositions, while also encouraging viewers to consider the relationship between contemporary life and the landscape. Maakestad explains:

In this series, I am interested in how we have inserted ourselves in the landscape through various means of transportation, technology and industry. This relationship can be a tenuous one. Hopefully, the viewer has cause to wonder whether this exhibition is a celebration of the Minnesota landscape or an homage to a place that will likely be very different in generations to come.

The artist will be present at the opening reception Saturday, April 25, from 2-5 p.m. This show runs concurrently with A Sense of Place, an exhibition of new paintings Wendell Arneson in the Groveland Annex.

Tom Maakestad is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board thanks to a legislative appropriate from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


PleinAir Magazine interviews Tom Maakestad about his Groveland Gallery show,The Long View, a series of aerial landscape paintings. View the article here.

Mary Abbe, Star Tribune | Minneapolis galleries showcase aerial paintings, abstractions and apocalyptic instructions