Provisions draws on Banfill-Locke’s historical role in the community to present a unique visual and tactile experience. In the late 1800s, the site that is now Banfill-Locke included an inn, a general store, and a post office that made it an important hub for supplies and social connection. We were inspired by the idea that travelers and area residents intersected in this space, traded goods here, and used it as a lifeline for communication and supplies.
This exhibition presents a contemporary take on both the provisions people may have sought at this historical site and may seek today in Banfill-Locke’s role as an art center. Our goods are colorful abstract forms made of fabric we screen printed by hand. In a reference to simpler times, these objects are made in low-tech ways with a make-do approach. Although modern screen printing uses digital processes, our stencils for this project are entirely hand cut. Inside each shape is a mix of what was on hand: used plastic bags or recycled stuffing, with the resourcefulness of an earlier era as a guide. All of the objects were made honoring our group process, with decisions about color and pattern formed on the fly in response to the variety of the whole collection. Touch is an important aspect of this work. An interactive element will invite visitors to rearrange certain objects as a way to connect the past with the present and to reflect on which physical needs and social connections are necessities right now.
Surface Lab is the studio-based collective of Anna Carlson, Sarah Kusa and Alex Newby that explores pattern, color, and surface through drawing and screen printing fabric by hand. The group was formed in 2015, and this is the first public exhibition of the trio’s collaborative work.
Anna Carlson is an artist creating patterned surfaces and book forms to illustrate how language—spoken, written, and worn on the body—captures a moment in time. She has an extensive background in print and pattern design as an artist, scholar, and educator and exhibits her work nationally.
Sarah Kusa is a mixed-media artist working in sculpture and installation. Her practice frequently incorporates textiles, and her early background includes printmaking on fabric. Her work has appeared nationally in exhibitions, and she is a 2018 recipient of the Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship.
Alex Newby is an artist-designer-craftsperson specializing in surface pattern design and illustration. She received a Jerome Fiber Artist Grant in 2016 and has apprenticed at The Fabric Workshop and Museum. She currently teaches drawing and surface design at the University of Minnesota.
Retreat, by Natasha Pestich presents a small collection of Jan Xylander exhibition posters by various artists and designers in Banfill Center for the Arts’ (BLCA) main gallery with an accompanying display of her own artists’ publications in response to Xylander’s prevailing appeal in BLCA’s second-floor library. The thematic thread connecting the poster archive to Pestich’s publications is the notion of ‘withdrawal’. Jan Xylander had a short, but prolific career between 2000-2010, when on the cusp of mainstream success he all but vanished from the art world, purportedly to return to his beloved Minnesota wilderness. The promotional posters are all that remains of his legacy. Pestich has spent the past seven years studying and exhibiting these works in the US and Canada, with the hopes of learning more about the recluse artist and his art. In her own writings and publications, she speculates on the logic and possibility of self-removal from the systems that organize contemporary American life, ultimately posing questions such as what is to be gained from withdrawal and where exactly does one go?
Natasha Pestich is a fiscal year 2017 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.