'Work' paintings, photos reflect images of people on the jobOriginal Les Kouba watercolors and a selection of vintage and new art works depicting people at work are featured during January at the Red Wing Arts Association’s Depot Gallery.
Original Les Kouba watercolors and a selection of vintage and new art works depicting people at work are featured during January at the Red Wing Arts Association’s Depot Gallery.
The January show, “Work,” includes two unique collections, Arts Director Dan Guida said.
The walls of the Veeder Gallery are filled with paintings created by Kouba, a well-respected wildlife artist, from the Red Wing Shoe Co. collection. The images, used for advertising purposes, show people wearing Red Wing shoes in their daily lives, including workers on the farm and in industrial situations.
Kouba is known as the “dean of Minnesota wildlife artists.” Now in his 70s, he knew as a child that he wanted to be a painter, and sold his first painting in 1928, when he was just 11. He got his art education through a correspondence course, but has gone on to become one of the best-known names on the Minnesota wildlife art scene.
He painted the Red Wing Shoe Co. watercolors more than 40 years ago.
The Vogel Gallery features 23 Red Wing area artists’ interpretations of the “Red Wing at work” theme in paintings and photographs. Some were created for this show, Guida said; others are theme-appropriate works from their personal collections.
Four featured works in this exhibit relate to the Kouba show, Guida noted. They are art works by local artists that were commissioned by Red Wing Shoe Co. in honor of its 100th anniversary.
BJ Mushet-Norman created a pastel painting of people making shoes; Dan Wiemer’s mixed media work illustrates construction; Larry Veeder’s watercolor shows scenes of company activities; and Art Kenyon’s oil painting depicts men at work.
Several photographers are featured with images including firefighters practicing an ice rescue mission near Boathouse Village, musicians playing, the Ben Franklin fire, and other scenes. Participating photographers are Jack Alexander, Chap Achen, Sandra Borgen, Ted Horn and Faith Kelly.
Painting themes range from Maggie Paynter’s pastel of a gas station to Bevv Lundquist’s acrylic of a potter at work, plus a train yard, a florist, the Welch Mill and downtown Red Wing.
Other participating painters are Julia Crozier, multiple; Sheila Fehrman and Doris Gardas, acrylic; Harold Grabitske, Oreland Johnson and Howard Tomashek, watercolor; Dirk Nelson, ink; Mike Schad and Ardee Rosasco, oil; Peg Simonson, pastel; and Sarah Singer, mixed media.
“It’s a different show for us,” Guida said, but one with a variety of interesting images.
“Work” will remain on display until Feb. 8. Starting Feb. 11, the annual student art show, “Emerging Artists,” will open, along with a Valentine’s Day show, “The Art of Romance.”
Effective this month, winter season hours at the gallery, 418 Levee St., are in effect: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For information, call (651) 388-7569.