Taking something from outside the realm of art and using it to create a journey for the viewer is a commonality found in the assemblage work of Gary Carlson and MaryAnn Carlson and the abstract paintings of Jeffrey Hansen.

Work by these three artists will be on view as ArtReach St.Croix’s newest exhibition, Newspheres, which opened to the public on Oct. 1 and goes through Nov. 7.

The galleries at ArtReach St. Croix, located at 224 N. Fourth St. in Stillwater, are free and open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m.

In an effort to maintain a safe environment for the public to view art by local and regional artists, visitors must wear a mask and are asked to practice social distancing in the gallery.

Whether through the use of defunct technology, found objects or mathematical principals, Gary, MaryAnn and Jeffrey use disparate parts and ideas to develop new patterns that create stories open to the viewer’s interpretations.

Gary Carlson (Rush City): Gary’s assemblage sculptures begin with discarded and broken pieces of defunct technologies. His challenge is to unify these disparate parts and make them play well together aesthetically.

“I like to work mostly in a non-objective manner,” said Gary, “not representing a person or thing. As a work develops the collective parts create a story. It can turn out to be a humorous observation, social statement, pure design or a metaphor.”

MaryAnn Carlson (Rush City): MaryAnn explores themes of personal relationships, beliefs, and icons of culture and place. She is especially interested in the simplicity of naive art.

“I collect beautiful stones, interesting sticks, broken china, old implements and tools to make my sculptures and jewelry,” said MaryAnn. “As I arrange objects I make choices, of color, shape, line or texture and how they are repeated or contrasted to control what the audience will notice and where their eye will move through the composition. In using found objects I hope to create and spark stories of past and present.”

Jeffrey Hanson (St. Paul): Jeffrey’s minimalist abstract expression uses mathematical division and balanced design with painterly texturized circles layered within patterns of black and white and various other color compositions.

“The title of this series of paintings, ‘Non-Zero-Sum,’ refers to situations usually found within parameters of game theory and economic theory,” said Hansen. “A non-zero-sum ‘game’ generally has no universally accepted solution.”

ArtReach St. Croix is a nonprofit regional arts organization committed to the mission of connecting communities to the arts throughout the St. Croix Valley. ArtReach supports the work of artists and arts organization through events, marketing initiatives and education opportunities that foster and celebrate the visual, literary and performing arts in the St. Croix Valley. The work of ArtReach St. Croix is made possible through generous donations from individuals and grants from foundations. Visit artreachstcroix.org to learn more.

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