‘Pilot Car’ is Banfill’s newest exhibit

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts launches another unique show, this time with a spotlight on Ojibwe art.

This acrylic on canvas paintings by Andrea Carlson, a former Banfill-Locke artist in residence, will be featured in Banfill-Locke’s newest exhibit “Pilot Car,” opening Aug. 25. Photo submitted

This gauche on paper painting by Andrea Carlson, a former Banfill-Locke artist in residence, will be featured in Banfill-Locke’s newest exhibit “Pilot Car,” opening Aug. 25. Photo submitted

“Pilot Car” opens Aug. 25 and runs through Sept. 29. An opening reception will be held Aug. 25, 6 to 9 p.m. The reception is free. The public is invited to meet the artists. Refreshments will be served.

The artwork in this show ranges from face masks to abstract stone sculptures. From portraits and Ojibwe symbol systems to a digital collage featuring works of artists from several nations.

The pieces are an assortment of color pencil, watercolors, drawings, a birch bark etching, sculptures as well as mixed media and more.

“‘Pilot Car’ is meant to reveal the multiple influences in the lives of artists, the rich cross-pollination that results in a variety of art forms and the relationships that artists forge across cultures,” said curator Heid E. Erdrich.

Among her many awards, Erdrich, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibway and who lives in Minneapolis, has received Minnesota State Arts Board fellowships and awards from The Loft Literary Center. She has published three poetry books and has been nominated four times for the Minnesota Book Award. In 2009, she won the award for her book “National Monuments.”

Fourteen artists, mostly from the Twin Cities area, will exhibit about 40 pieces in “Pilot Car.”

The exhibit received its name when Erdrich was on her way to a retreat in North Dakota with several young artists. The group in various cars was following a pilot car. Roads were under construction, sending mud splashing across windshields, at times nearly blinding them.

“Somehow folks started referring to what I was doing creatively as “being the pilot car.” Erdrich said. “Since this exhibit and performance at Banfill-Locke is a pilot project to launch a year-long collaboration, I thought the title makes sense.”

Also as part of the exhibition, a film screening and artist’s talk will be held Friday, Sept. 14, 7 to 9 p.m. Erdrich and others will present a reading Saturday, Sept. 22, 4 to 6 p.m.

The presentation has given rise to close connections among indigenous artists with sensibility close to Erdrich’s as an Ojibwe woman. “…Multiple cross-collaborations are taking place as we create performances and now films as well,” Erdrich said.

For a full schedule of “Pilot Car” events and activities, visit www.banfill-locke.org or call the center at 763-574-1850. Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts is located at 6666 East River Road in Fridley.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com


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