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In the Inez Greenberg Gallery...


The Smell of Earth After Rain

Exhibiting Artists: Amy Baur and Laura Hallen

May 20 - July 8, 2016
Reception: Thursday, June 2, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Artist Talk: Tuesday, June 21, 7:00 p.m.

What do you visualize when you think of the smell of earth after rain? The artwork featured in Petrichor invites viewers to think about nature on many different levels. As a certified Master Gardener, artist Laura Hallen has personal experience and knowledge of botanical life; she is especially interested in the future of plants and how they will develop over time in the ever-changing and increasingly hostile environment of climate change. Her focus in Petrichor will be a series of paintings inspired by the Rose of Jericho, an arid and dormant plant that regenerates after being submerged in water.

“With a twist of my imagination and interpretation, my paintings are conceptual, abstract images of futuristic plants originating from coniferous and deciduous forests, savannahs, prairies, wetlands, and open water. These new paintings are directly inspired by my love for botanical illustration books, showcasing the discovery and history of early plant life.” 
– Laura Hallen

Artist Amy Baur combines photography with other materials including wood and glass to create three dimensional, large-scale environments that speak to our connection to nature. Her small vignettes and rain gauges flirt around the boundaries of the actual and the imagined, and create a dynamic tension by incorporating natural elements both approachable and aggressive. Baur is interested in exploring the idea of the horizon line as a place of uncertainty – neither land nor sky, neither sea nor air.

“Fragile and circuitous – these arced spaces offer a certain quietude of observation – as sightline, as recognition and respite.”
– Amy Baur

Left: Fracture (detail), acrylic and pigmented shellac on Plexiglas by Laura Hallen;
Right: Chora, mixed media, by Amy Baur

About the Artists:

Laura Hallen is a painter, multi-media artist, and a certified Master Gardener. Her paintings incorporate found objects, artificial plant material, Plexiglas, and paint.  Laura has exhibited at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, SooVac, Fox Tax Gallery, HI Gallery, Umber Studios, Gallery 360, as well as her studio in the Northrup King Building. With a 2013 Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) Artist Initiative grant, Laura traveled to the Millennium Seed Bank in the United Kingdom, where she was given access to the world’s largest seed conservation archive to research and gather information for her artwork. She recently completed her first site-specific installation at Silverwood Gallery where she suspended over 5,000 plastic lunaria seed-pods from the 20’ vaulted ceiling. Laura has received two MSAB Artist Initiative grants (2011 and 2013) and has been featured on MN Original. She received a BFA in painting from the University of Minnesota in 1997, and a Master Gardener Certification, Pro-Hort in 2006, also from the University of Minnesota.

Amy Baur received her BFA in Photography from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and her MFA in Photography from the University of Illinois, Champaign. Currently Baur makes her living as an artist in NE Minneapolis. In addition to her own studio practice, she collaborates with artist Brian Boldon at InPlainSight Art, a studio designing and fabricating public art commissions.

Using imagery and objects to engage the viewer in the act of seeing, Baur combines minute and expansive scale in order to explore a place between the actual & the imagined; closer to observation than fact; less assured and more about the uncertain.  Using distillation and ambiguity, the work refocuses attention to the physical details that surround us.