“Juicy Steak Moustache,” showcases whimsy, surprise, innovation, and humor through artworks by Betsy Ruth Byers, Kate Casanova, Kyle Fokken, Josephine A. Geiger, Joan Malkerson, Dan Mather, Kelly Jean Ohl, Atom Pechman, Patrick K. Pryor, and Karl Unnasch.
All 10 local artists in the exhibit found inspiration in whimsy, though each has his or her own definition for the word. For artist Atom Pechman, his moustache trophies featured in the show are a nod (and a wink) to masculinity. “It seems only natural to make trophy pieces out of an object that seems to already be a trophy,” he says.
Sculptor and collage artist Kate Casanova used idealized imagery and nature to inform her vibrant collages. And sculptor Kyle Fokken was influenced by the odd design of turn-of-the-century machinery for his imaginative mash-ups. Joan Malkerson provides a glimpse of how she plays with paint and color on her artist palettes while Dan Mather “high fives” us with scraps of slumped glass and clear epoxy.
Inspired by his childhood action figures, Karl Unnasch, created three adult action figures complete with accessories. Kelly Jean Ohl teases us with her usual touchable clay rattles by fashioning them into a “don’t touch” sculpture. And Josephine A. Geiger combines live gold fish with her whimsical fused glass flowers.
Patrick K. Pryor’s work, “Elemental Effect” is a departure from his usual swirling graphic style in an exploration of texture and physical engagement with the paint. Finally, Betsy Ruth Byers’ abstract landscapes are splashes of color in the midst of our bleak winter, sure to put a smile on your face.
“With this show and this gallery, I really want people to see that although we’re very serious about art, we also have fun with what we do,” Gallery owner Anita Sue Kolman says. “We encouraged the artists to use the opportunity to create whimsical pieces, but that doesn’t mean they’re silly. Humor isn’t only silly,” she says.
Curator Patrick K. Pryor says “the show allows viewers to feel a little self-indulgent and playful.” Through this exhibit one is able to imagine themselves doing things that may have been part of one’s childhood such as cutting out beautiful images from magazine and books; constructing toys from materials at hand; or putting a goldfish in a flower vase.