The Kohler Art Library has changed its look for the summer. Newly installed paintings by Tara Austin, a recent MFA graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, now hang in the library, adding a touch of psychedelic whimsy to the white walls. Austin’s paintings are inspired by rosemaling, a traditional form of decorative folk art that originated in the rural valleys of Norway.
The show, entitled “Mirror Lake”, includes 6 paintings in oil and acrylic on panel; 2 sculptural pieces in acrylic on plexiglass and wood with beetle wings, fur, and felted wool; 1 painting in acrylic and gold leaf on plexiglass; and 1 painting in acrylic and gold leaf on glass.
Austin’s upbringing in Northern Minnesota instilled an appreciation of botany and a keen observation of patterns in the natural environment. Reflecting on her experiences in the Midwest, South America, and Europe, her work seeks to communicate an alternative form of natural beauty.
Incorporating techniques from theatrical scenic painting and faux finishing, the folk art of rosemaling and reverse painting on glass, Tara hybridizes traditional processes within a contemporary perspective.
“My curiosity in traditional arts has guided me to experiment with embroidery, beadwork, Verre Églomisé, paper marbling, calligraphy, mosaic, and textile dying and printing. Observing these customary processes became a way for me to develop a personal aesthetic based on the necessity of good craftsmanship. Their established authority of geometry, harmony, and beauty speaks vibrantly.” (Tara Austin)
Austin will give a talk about her work and demonstrate the art of rosemaling on Friday, September 8 from 4:00-6:00 pm in the Kohler Art Library. This event is open to the public.
“Mirror Lake” runs May 24-September 24, 2017