Seen: A New Americana

Childs, Kowalski & Huyser

January 24 – February 28, 2015

Seen: A New Americana

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 24, 2-5 p.m.

Groveland Gallery is pleased to present a unique exhibition of new paintings by three emerging Midwestern artists. With varied stylistic approaches, mediums and interests, artists Jaron Childs, Joshua Huyser and Jason Kowalski present viewers with a contemporary impression of the people, places and things in our everyday world, a new Americana. Though their subjects vary from landscapes to still lifes, each artist reinvents his theme, resulting in a cohesive exhibition that explores the mingling of modernity and nostalgia.

Minnesota native Jaron Childs studied painting and photography at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He has exhibited regionally and abroad, most recently in a solo show through the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Long-fascinated by the relationship between photography and memory, Childs’ paintings make inquiries into the roles of humans in the natural world. He uses photographs of people and places as references to inform his detailed, yet softly rendered oil paintings. Inspired by realism but retaining a deft, painterly quality, his images capture and enshrine a seemingly insignificant moment in time. The artist explains: “my work looks to soften the perceived divisions between all things, bears witness to the quiet lives of objects and places, and finds meanings in their fleeting convergences.

Minneapolis artist Joshua Huyser was born in Montana and received his M.F.A. at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History in 2001. This exhibition includes watercolor compositions of lonely spice tins, rusting oil cans and vintage tackle boxes, as well as variations on the Midwestern landscape: colorful silos among a field of dried corn stalks in autumn and deserted gas stations worn away by the weather. Huyser refers to his subjects as “physical relics expressing the spirit of precious moments.” He elaborates: “the humble stories they tell speak to our present and past needs and desires – in other words, to the human condition. The structures I paint, and the landscapes they inhabit, tell similar stories.”

Born in Florida and raised in the Upper Midwest, Jason Kowalski studied painting at the Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach, California. His photo-realist paintings reveal his fascination with the iconography of bygone eras: decrepit motel signs along a lonely highway; airstream trailers parked for camp along a dusty curb; abandoned, clap board houses on a rural farmstead. The crisp light and rosy hues of his palette give his compositions a cinematic quality that brings new life to his old, disregarded subjects. The artist explains: “I am interested in objects that have a past. Their story is often forgotten and their characteristics of being worn out, broken and old are commonly seen as unattractive. My goal is to create art that challenges viewers to see the unique beauty found in worn and castaway objects.”

The artists will be present at the opening reception on Saturday, January 24 from 2 to 5 p.m.