PLY exhibition at Banfill-Locke

PLY Installation ViewThe exhibition PLY featuring the work of B.T. Johnson, Amy Rice, Nathan Stromberg is on view May 21 to June 18 in the Banfill-Locke galleries. Amy makes prints; Nathan creates collages; B.T. constructs sculpture. Together their work will enliven the galleries with color, texture, layers, and assemblages. While diverse in subjects and styles, together the work of these talented artists will ply the viewer’s senses. The name of the exhibition comes from the literal definition of the work PLY: (n) A layer, fold or thickness and (v) To carry on, pursue, or work at.
The Exhibition Reception is Thursday, June 2 from 6 to 8pm when all three artists will be in attendance to talk about their art and process with visitors.  The event is open house format and is free and open to everyone. Regular gallery hours are 10am to 4pm Tuesday through Saturday.
Amy Rice uses nontraditional print-making methods–including hand cut stencils and a Japanese screen printing toy called a Gocco printer–as a starting point for original mixed media pieces. She uses spray paint, acrylics, gouache, and inks, and print on a variety of surfaces including wood, fabric and antique papers (preferring handwritten love letters, envelopes, journal pages, sheet music and maps). She is most satisfied when she can make a tangible or visceral connection between the materials used and the image rendered. Her work is deeply layered, often both literally and figuratively. Her imagery–nostalgic and wistful–is largely biographical and reflective of her pensive nature. She is as inspired in her art as much by childhood memories of growing up on a Midwestern farm as she is the urban community in which she now lives. Amy makes Columbia Heights home.
Nathan Stromberg‘s work navigates and comments on the historical space of post-war America as interpreted through the depiction of instantly recognizable period objects. These images possess a stylistic look bound to a specific place in history, a time in our collective American past that made us who we are today. It is these glimpses of the everyday- the shape of a chrome bumper, the stylized design of kitchen objects and period fashion, or the random positioning of figures in snapshots taken by amateur photographers, that remain connections to real people and speak to a collective national identity. In many ways they are icons; instantly recognized representations of the decade’s ideological connotations. Nate is actively exploring this ideology as both American history and pedigree.  Nathan lives in Saint Paul.
B.T. Johnson is a lifelong artist working in 2D and 3D media.  His own work is a reflection of his surroundings as well as his life experiences. He definitely feels his body of work over time has not been a linear progression, rather a synergistic development.  B.T. believes that art is a reflection of life, and in all areas when we become too ingrained with structure and rules, stagnation can occur and the emphasis may become more on form than substance.  B.T.’s art is anything but stagnant and is an embodiment of his travels, readings, and consumption of culture.  He lives and works in Isanti.
Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts is a nonprofit art center located at the juncture of Rice Creek and the Mississippi River in Manomin County Park. Since 1979, Banfill-Locke has served the community through accessible arts programming including gallery exhibitions, classes and workshops, festivals, gift shop, literary readings and artist residencies. The Art Center has inhabited the historic former Banfill Tavern and Locke House since 1988 through a public/private partnership with the Anoka County Parks Department. For more information call 763-574-1850, email info@banfill-locke.org, or visit us at www.banfill-locke.org.
Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts (BLCA) is a source for the community providing inspiration, enrichment, enjoyment, opportunities and education through the arts.
Bethany Whitehead, BLCA Executive Director.  763.574.1850. 6666 East River Road, Fridley, MN 55432. bethany@banfill-locke.org.