Opening reception: Sunday, November 13, 2016, 3-5 pm
Pat Hidson and Tori Tasch shared a year-long residency at Lynden that ended in May. It was the first time that Hidson, who is primarily a painter, and Tasch, who makes books and prints, had worked together, but they built their collaboration around their shared concern for the environment and a deep interest in the natural world. For this exhibition, each artist returns to her solo practice, with the occasional nod to the residency in the shape of printed seed packets and cyanotype flags.
The garden--a place where Hidson spends a lot of her time--is central to the imagery and geometry of her exuberant two-dimensional works. Her paintings distill experience into intuitive forms; color, movement, pattern and texture--Hidson uses acrylics, oils, glitter, and metallics--convey a sense of living matter. The drawings combine delicate details from nature with abstract forms. Similarly eclectic in their materials, their white backgrounds keep them anchored in a contemplative place.
For Tasch, creating books is a daily ritual and ecological investigation. Her passion for repurposing materials and using layered printmaking processes merge in a series of unique handmade books featuring found objects and pamphlet stitched pages. The biodiversity at Lynden inspired Tasch to create a series of diminutive insect books that she paired with found objects from the site. Increasingly, each book is a specimen, a small sculpture made individually, but displayed as part of a collection. For the exhibition, Tasch installs her Centerfold Series of 365 butterflies, one for each day of the Lynden residency. Like centerfold models, butterflies are lithe, beautiful, and graceful; each butterfly is fabricated from old centerfolds and repurposed pages from science textbooks. The butterfly-books are symbols of transformation; when they are shown together, they mark the passage of time.
About the Artists
Pat Hidson was born in Edmonton, Alberta. She began her art training with her artist grandmother, Dorothy Ryland. After attending many years of art classes at the Edmonton Art Gallery, she was fortunate to have a marvelous high school art teacher, Mrs. Darevich, who inspired her to attend the University of Alberta. Hidson planned to be a high school art teacher, but after her third child was born here in Milwaukee she began to do pastel portraits to make money to support her art classes at MIAD, as well as trips with the children. Many exhibitions later she has still not gone back to that teaching career, but sharing her skills with generations of adult students in her studio has been a joy. Tori Tasch is a mentoring artist at RedLine Milwaukee (where she has a studio), an art educator working with K4-8th grade, and a printmaker who maintains a vibrant studio practice. She serves on the board of Milwaukee Area Teachers Of Art, and is the Southeast Exhibitions Chair for Wisconsin Visual Artists. Tasch lives in Merton with her two dogs and husband of 30 years.