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Column: Exhibit explores balance between nature, man

12:47 PM, Jan. 23, 2013  |  Comments
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When an artist is faced with a blank canvas much is expressed by the medium and technical style used, however, there is so much more. Artists can attempt to portray images as close to reality as possible; some decide to focus on emotion, while others try to obscure their message or take an "art for art's sake" approach.

For artist Alexander Landerman, his goal is to connect reality with spirit. Being able to sketch a detailed, real-to-life drawing is beautiful. To put personality to that drawing and truly achieve the "essence" of the subject, however, requires a spiritual connection to what you are drawing. Landerman has this connection.

Landerman's work will be featured in an upcoming art exhibition at the Central Wisconsin Cultural Center, 240 Johnson St., from Feb. 8 to March 22, along with guest sculptural fiber artists Sarajane Snyder and Diane Brown-Hahn. An opening reception will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 8 with hors d'oeuvres and refreshments served.

The collection of work represented by these artists engage the viewer on the delicate balance shared between nature and man. The fibers and reed used to sculpt baskets are increasingly scarce. Snyder has been weaving baskets for years and just recently was informed of the unavailability of weaving materials that may place a temporary hiatus in her basket making.

Landerman has a respect for his subject matter that is unbeatable. His genuine love of people, and enthusiastic and upbeat nature translates in several aspects of his life and art. Residing in a small cabin in Stevens Point, Landerman eats only what he kills and chooses not to have Internet access. This lifestyle brings him closer to the earth and gives him a respect for his surroundings. This would become his inspiration for his latest series: Rabbits.

The Rabbits is a series of letterpress prints with charcoal drawings expressing Landerman's philosophy on animals, food and culture. Each print is a different recipe with rabbit as the main ingredient. The series includes 25 recipes from several cultures and seeks to bring up the "universal necessity of food," as well as encourage acknowledgment and respect of the meat we choose to eat.

The text is printed using a Vandercook proofing press with various types of wooden fonts. After running it through the press, Landerman hand draws the images of the rabbits onto the page. His hope is to "give the animals a sense of individuality." The rabbits shown were hunted by Landerman for the purpose of both food and art. He seeks to pay homage to these animals, thanking them for their sacrifice for his nourishment.

R. Sylvia Becker is executive director for the Central Wisconsin Cultural Center. To reach her, call 715-421-4598 or email cwcc@wctc.net.

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