Tiffany Besonen & Laura Grisamore

On display: May 2 - June 30, 2017
Public Reception: Saturday, June 3 (noon - 2 pm)

Tiffany's Artist Statement: 

For me, creating metaphor is a process of rediscovering how everything and everyone is connected. My work for THRESH. HOLD. is diverse in materials, but all deeply connected.

Doors in my work began during a time of grieving for our family. As I photographed, drew, and began to paint doors and thresholds, I discovered that the 'space in between' of a threshold isn't inside or out, here or there, but a connection (or division) of the two. Later, I rediscovered a photo that our daughter had taken from behind my husband and me, as we overlooked a lake. All of the paintings on canvas in this exhibit began with this visual format, our silhouettes and the space in between. The watery shape in between us has intrigued me for years; like a threshold, that space connects us, yet reveals our differences. Repeating that visual format in all seven of these paintings, freed me to be more spontaneous with color, line, shape, and motion.

When the ‘space in between’ paintings were done, I photographed details, and digitally created patterns. Eight of these patterns have been printed on fabric and one on wallpaper by I have always wanted to design fabrics! There is something soothing about patterns, and something especially uplifting about colorful patterns on soft fabrics. Creating these patterns digitally has been a lesson for me in giving up control; beauty is often revealed in the most spontaneous and unexpected ways. The short film Thresh. Hold. Release. became an extension of that lesson in spontaneity, with the contemplative and hopeful music of Mark Hartung (1971-2015) completing the film.

My THRESH. HOLD. work culminated with the five mixed-material, free-standing doors. I am giving each one of these doors to a different family, in memory of someone they have lost. Each door began when I asked the family to choose a color that reminded them of their loved one, and from there I began painting on the vintage doors without much of a plan, only positive thoughts and memories. Half way through the painting process, I took photos and made the digital patterns that became the patterned wallpaper on each door. For me, these doors have become celebrations. When we find ourselves on the threshold of loss or change, may we be kind to ourselves; may we accept what we can not control, and somehow find freedom, beauty, and hope in that acceptance.

Laura's Artist Statement: 

I am fascinated by the intricacies and interconnectedness of the natural world and all the beauty that lies within. I love to share this through my photographs. I like to collect natural objects, or what I call "artifacts;" the remains of once living things. When I hold these artifacts in my hands, I imagine the life they once lived and the landscapes and ecosystems they were a part of. This inspires me when I create and helps me to honor the spirit and life of the being or artifact in my work. 

My series, "Minnesota Artifacts," emerged last summer as I began to photograph some of the skulls, feathers and shells my husband and I have found up here. I take these photographs and fuse them with photos I have taken of Northern Minnesota's natural landscapes. I also fuse textures with some of the landscapes to add visual interest and to create a mood. 

I had fun creating while meditating on the exhibit titled, "Thresh.Hold." A skull is the physical threshold into the spirit as well as the physical threshold the spirit passes through as it leaves the body. My photographs are also about inviting you to cross over the thresholds that exist in the natural landscapes around you. For, it is only once we have crossed them; walked past the tree line into the woods, walked beyond the horizon we saw in a field or dove through the surface of a body of water, that we then begin to discover what lies in its depths. 

Laura's Biography:

I have had a camera in my hand since 2001, thanks to a stint of writer's block I experienced during a semester in college. I was obsessed and continued to take every photography class the Journalism and Art Departments offered. After graduating with a Journalism degree in 2003, I actively practiced and pursued my photography while enjoying work in the service and social service industries. Upon moving to Park Rapids in 2013, I decided to dedicate myself to photography and established a portrait and photo art gallery business. I feel most comfortable in a pair of mud boots, holey jeans, long sleeve shirt with a camera in hand, slogging through marshes and hiking through the thick of the woods. I am a lifelong learner and have been loving every minute of life up North.