July at the MacRostie Art Center

MacRostie Art Center (MAC) has announced its upcoming art events during the month of July 2019. The MacRostie Gallery will play host to the exhibit “I Want To Show You Something,” featuring the photography of Minnesota-based artist Meg Ojala. In the Minnesota Gallery, Athena LaTocha will showcase new cast iron sculptural pieces and works on paper in an exhibit titled “Mesabi.” The public is invited to attend the First Friday opening reception on Friday, July 5 from 4-7 p.m. July exhibitions at MacRostie Art Center are sponsored by The Loggy Dome and Oak Hill Assisted Living.

MACROSTIE GALLERY | ‘I Want to Show You Something’ | Meg Ojala

“I Want to Show You Something” celebrates the 35-year teaching career of Meg Ojala, Professor of Art at St. Olaf College, with a body of new work – a photographic exploration of bogs and fens.

For the past 15 years, Ojala’s large-scale photographs have described the spatial ambiguities and seasonal changes on the prairies and riverbanks close to her home and studio near Northfield, Minn. This exhibition is a meandering visual and poetic search through ecologically crucial peatlands in Finland, Ireland and Minnesota. Bogs are disorienting, often impassable, ambiguous, slowly changing bodies of sphagnum moss, sedges, carnivorous plants, cranberries, tamarack and black spruce. The installation of photographs, text and prints of these captivating ecosystems envelops the viewer in their paradoxes and unfathomability.

Ojala, professor of Art and Art History, received her BA from the University of Minnesota and her MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Ojala closely observes, draws and photographs the landscape. She explores perceptions of space, the visual poetry of representation and abstraction, and the ways in which photographs transform the world.

MINNESOTA GALLERY | ‘Mesabi’ |

Athena LaTocha

Athena LaTocha is an artist whose monumental works on paper explore the tenuous relationship between man-made and natural landscapes. Born in Anchorage, Ala., she now lives and works in New York. For the exhibit “Mesabi,” LaTocha spent a month in Northern Minnesota as MAC’s inaugural Visiting Artist. While in residence at the MAC, LaTocha worked with Igneous Metal Arts and the Minnesota Museum of Mining in Chisholm, Minn., to create cast iron sculptural pieces through a process of pouring iron. These works will be mounted along with new works on paper created as an exploration of the landscape and elements of the Mesabi Iron Range.

LaTocha’s work has been shown across the country in places such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, CUE Art Foundation, Artists Space, New York State Museum, South Dakota Art Museum, and the International Gallery of Contemporary Art in Anchorage. In 2017, she had a solo exhibition at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe.

LaTocha is a 2016 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Additionally, in 2013 she was awarded the prestigious Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency. Most recently, she completed the 2018 Winter Workspace Program residency at Wave Hill in the Bronx, N.Y. LaTocha received her BFA degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA degree from Stony Brook University, N.Y.

FIRST FRIDAY RECEPTION | Live music, food and art

While downtown art galleries and businesses are open late for the First Friday Art Walk on July 5 from 4-7 p.m., MacRostie Art Center will celebrate its opening reception with live music by Ariana Aitken, food by Nana Chelle’s Café (Bovey, Minn.), as well as wine and other refreshments. Artist Talks will be held at 6 p.m. to provide the public with the opportunity to converse with the exhibiting artists.

Beer, Bowls, and Bites! | Friday, July 5, 6-8:30 p.m.

Enjoy a relaxing evening glazing pottery, drinking micro brew and tasting custom appetizers. The MAC’s resident potter will walk you through the process of glazing two pottery pieces of your choice, from mugs to bowls to plates. There will be plenty of breaks for socializing and enjoying beer and appetizers. Absolutely no art experience is required. Come learn in a fun and supportive environment surrounded by friends. Beer and wine is available at a cash bar during the event. Non-alcoholic beverages are also available. Ages 21 and up.

2019 Downtown Art Fair | Saturday, July 13, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Downtown Art Fair takes place on the second Saturday of July and is hosted by MacRostie Art Center. Located on the grounds of the Historic Central School and at the intersection of U.S. Highway 2 and U.S. Highway 169, the Downtown Art Fair is a fun community event that attracts residents and tourists alike. Join the fun for this annual community art event, complete with over 20 local and regional artist vendors, live music, great food and art activities for every age and ability. Buy an art raffle ticket now for a chance to win a timeless piece of art.

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