Art professor stirs emotion in Fargo gallery

Art and design professor Andrew Stark’s latest exhibit strives to provoke a meditative moment in the viewing public.

Stark’s exhibit “Breathe In, Breathe Out” opened at the Ecce Gallery On Feb. 1 in downtown Fargo. During the reception on Friday night, more than 110 people came to the exhibit, which includes 21 paintings influenced by landscapes and abstract expressionists.

“Over the last 10 years, my work has been gravitating between figurative and abstract work. My primary focus is trying to establish an ethereal and meditative space in the work.”

Since his last show at Ecce in August, Stark has been working on paintings for this exhibit.

“I think the work is certainly influenced by all my previous work but dealing with things like memory and nostalgia,” Stark said.

He said he enjoys creating pieces that contain figurative motifs.

“The things I enjoy doing: painting, creating, drawing and reading are all meditative to me. It provides a creative outlet while taking on an intellectual exercise in the problems of design.”

The title of the exhibit sprung from Stark’s creative process.

“The title is related to meditative process in the work, all of the pieces are remnants of the work.”

He also drew inspiration from his home life.

“My wife is having a baby in two months so the “breathe in and breathe out” is the title related to a time of great stress and hopefulness, and to remind me to breathe.”

As an artist, Stark understands the importance of displaying his artwork regularly,

“As artists we strive to produce and to express ourselves. When we show our work to the public, it can create a great mirror, one that didn’t exist in the studio. The public will provide that new view point, that the artist didn’t necessarily see before”

“Breathe In, Breathe Out” provides an outlet for reflection.

“I hope that this exhibit stirs emotions. I want to provide some kind of meditative viewing space that takes people out momentary of the business of the day.”

The Ecce gallery is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at 216 Broadway Drive, Fargo. It’s a vital resource and culture opportunity for the community.

“Galleries can challenge notion of artwork and what it can be. There’s a lot of wonderful people doing wonderful work, so it is important to take a minute to discover what is out there.”

Besides taking time to attend galleries in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Stark said, “Do what you love and study like crazy. Set your goals high.”

BY APRIL KNUTSON
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