January Art Inspired Art

The new year is often a time of fresh starts and inspiration, so it’s entirely fitting that inspiration is the theme of this year’s January member show at VIVA Gallery. The varied works in “Art Inspires Art” will be unveiled at the gallery’s First Thursday reception on January 5, and the viewing public will be able to see art inspired by such things as nature, poetry, literature, music, architecture, and cultural diversity.

The artful forms and shapes that occur naturally are often an inspiration to artists, as is the case with print maker Mark Herrling. “A Murder of Crows” was prompted by the patterned limbs of a large oak tree in his valley, only revealed in winter, that are an enticing draw for the gregarious birds. The French and American impressionist painters of the late 18th century and early 19th century serve as constant inspiration for plein air painter Deb Conlon, who braves snowbanks, icicles and bitter winter winds to capture the beautiful effect of light on fallen snow. Photographer Tom Rhorers influence comes from abstract impressionist painter Jackson Pollock, while metal worker Raelene Roberts interprets The Great Wave of Kanagawa,a famous woodblock print by Japanese artist Hokusai, in enamel.

Potter Maureen Karlstad finds the Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way), attributed to the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tse as her source of direction...”We throw clay to shape a pot, but the utility of a pot is a function of the nothingness inside it.” Both Jerry and Liz Quebe have found their inspiration in verse. Jerry chooses “Waiting” by L. W. Lindquist...”I gave up the waiting and something emerged from the silence of wood” while Liz took her cue from Iraira Cedillo’s whimsical poem “A Cow’s Outside.”

The diverse works of VIVA’s 18 member artists will be featured at VIVA’s First Thursday reception on January 5 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm and will be on display throughout the month. The gallery is located at 217 South Main Street in Viroqua. For more information about this and future First Thursday events, contact the gallery at 608-637-6918 or info@vivagallery.net.