Lucas/Sylvan News, May 3, 2007

New Work focuses on Story Behind the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum

On display May 3 - June 3, 2007, at the Salina Art Center, Salina Kansas
Closing reception May 31st, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Erika pauses by one of her new large paintings, featuring scenes from Las Vegas and a very large orange Burro.

As a part of the "Artist Exchange" program, Lucas artist Erika Nelson will be exhibiting a new large scale project at the Artist Exchange exhibition, May 3 - June 3 at the Salina Art Center. The Artist Exchange program paired regional artists to spark new ideas and engage in challenging innovative new work. Since November, Erika has been working with Great Bend artist and poet Ruth Moritz in developing a new artwork for the Salina show.

In the project description, Erika notes: "My recent work has been, by necessity, fairly representational and accessible to a wide audience, focused on public art disguised as roadside attractions. I would like to examine the personal exploration that parallels this public journey, bringing the personal back into the public persona. I would be telling the flip-side of the story - rather than a tour-guide to my life, I want to express the emotional journey that accompanies the rater straight-forward recent works."

This exploration has resulted in a series of four double-sided paintings illustrating the development of the Mobile Museum and the personal stories behind the roadside wanderings. The viewers will first see wood-inlaid designs that illustrate the graphic design evolution of the bus itself. Upon closer inspection, the flip-side paintings are revealed - a bright counterpoint to the warm wooden surfaces. The inner surfaces are oil paintings in vibrant colors, similar to the World's Largest Souvenir Travel Plate. The images and scenes on these inner paintings illustrate stories and events from the road.

The paintings are described as 'non-linear narratives'. In non-Art-Speak terms, this means that the images tell a story, but not in the comic-book method of laying out one image after another in sequential order. The stories appear in a more jumbled, intuitive way, akin to the way our subconscious minds put together images and scenes when we dream.

The narratives cover a specific timeline - from teaching in a University setting in 2001, through wanderings across the United States in '01 and '02, up to the inaugural tour of the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things in March of 2003.

The paintings will be installed at the Salina Art Center from May 3 through June 3. On the first Thursday of every month (May 3!), Salina galleries are open for an evening "Art Rush" from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. The closing reception for the Artist Exchange show is May 31st at the Salina Art Center, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., with comments from the participants at 5:30. You can meet all of the artists involved in the Artist Exchange program, including nationally known earth-work artist Stan Herd (you know, giant crop art portrait of Emelia Earhart in Abeline? That's him...) So, c'mon over to Salina and see another side of the Lucas Arts!

Salina Art Center gallery open Noon - 5 p.m. Mon. - Wed., 1 - 5 p.m. Sun.




Show Dates - May 3 - June 3, at the Salina Art Center, 242 S. Santa Fe.
Closing Reception May 31, 5-7 p.m., remarks at 5:30 - meet all the Artist Exchange participants!

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