I met the artist whose work is pictured below, Andrew Chulyk
at his opening on Saturday when I happened to be in Stockholm, Wisconsin. It was a very hot evening in that tiny, picturesque Mississippi River town, and few people were as crazy as I and my friend Patricia to be out and about. And so I was able to monopolize Andrew's time for quite a while at his opening, where I admired his beautifully constructed boxes. They seemed to me both playful and elegant. Our conversation rambled over many topics, from galleries and artist's struggles to the t community in our region--he is a newcomer here, from New Hampshire, and sees perhaps more clearly how isolated and scattered our art communities tend to be.
It was an interesting coincidence that earlier, on our drive over to Stockholm, my friend Patricia had remarked that in our rural area there is so little happening in terms of artistic culture that the possibilities are wide open for whatever a person would put forth. There's little chance of competing or overlapping with any other events, groups, or venues. I guess that is the positive side of living in an area without a developed arts scene. There are pockets of culture, and occasional events, and a few artist groups that meet here and there, but overall there is little energy or excitement about art in the region as a whole. In spite of this, there are plenty of artists working away in relative isolation.
Andrew is a person with fresh ideas, and is hoping to bring together under one umbrella organization various art groups, studio tours, and educational venues. He envisions artist forums and conferences, and informative/entertaining events for the public. Though I myself have never been oriented towards art groups or studio tours, and have served on only one community art committee, I do appreciate and admire the people who have the understanding and energy to make such things happen.