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Artist statement about the exhibition:
I have used the genre of still life to create contemporary, whimsical paintings in the hopes of evoking certain feelings in the viewer. Nostalgia for simpler times and recapturing the innocence of youth serve as the driving forces behind these compositions.
My family history inspires the use of comics in this exhibition. My maternal Grandfather was a classmate and friend of Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip. Family trips to Minnesota were spent reading Peanuts with my Grandfather - creating a life long love of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang. I try to pay homage by incorporating the beloved comic strip into some of my still lifes.
For other paintings in the show, I use a combination of iconography, bright color, and skilled rendering as a means to convey a specific aesthetic.
The end goal is to create work that appeals to those who share my appreciation of beauty and whimsy in a work of art. - Kelly Birkenruth