New art exhibit shows unique works


The Roland Dille Center for the Arts Gallery has once again opened their space for a unique exhibit. With the reception held last Thursday, this exhibit is up and ready for viewing and features work from M.A. Papanek-Miller and Jenni Brant.

Jenni Brant, one of the artists featured in the exhibit, is a ceramic artist whose work includes dinnerware.  Photo courtesy of

Jenni Brant, one of the artists featured in the exhibit, is a ceramic artist whose work includes dinnerware.
Photo courtesy of

Although the artists did not have the opportunity to meet until the morning of the installation, both Papanek-Miller and Brant agree that their works are very complementary to one another, regardless of their unique backgrounds.

Papanek-Miller is a mixed media artist whose pieces feature a plethora of layers and textures.

She considers her childhood athleticism and her Physical Education major in college influential in her works. According to her, a piece of artwork is like an athlete; it needs energy to survive.

To call Papanek-Miller’s work energetic would be an understatement. Her pieces feature numerous layers that pull viewers in and certainly keep them busy.

“I want things to come to the viewer, but I also want something for the viewer to find,” Papanek-Miller said.

Her pieces also have a unique underwater effect to them.

“I like the idea of looking through water,” she said.

Papanek-Miller also takes pride in her use of space throughout her pieces. Starting her art career by working in metals and in 3D, she developed a good eye for space.

Papanek-Miller has had the opportunity to live in various places, from Texas to Bemidji, MN. The landscapes of these places have inspired her as well.  During the reception, Papanek-Miller told viewers about her vast toy collection that she uses for inspiration as well. She believes “toys are magical,” as most humans can connect toys to memories.

At the reception, Papanek-Miller spoke of how she is captivated by imagery and draws inspiration from theatre.

Papanek-Miller has what she calls an “intellectual involvement in her work,” meaning she spends a vast amount of time thinking about how to better it.

“Most of the work in here is finished,” she joked.

On the other hand, Brant is a ceramic artist whose work is made up of serving pieces and dinnerware.

While at first glance, her pieces seem light and dainty, Brant drew inspiration from dark pieces such as Giotto di Bondone’s “Lamentations of Christ.”

While pieces such as this feature serious and heavy subject matter, the highlights of these pieces are what Brant draws from.

Brant thinks her choice of these colors make her pieces unique, as they are not colors that people are used to embracing when they are viewing art.

These light colors make her pieces seem light and fragile, but, according to Brant, her pieces were created for use and are quite durable. She also deliberately makes choices based on her pieces being used. For example, she explained that she made a certain mug with a handle only large enough for one finger, thus making it necessary for the user to hold the mug with both hands.

“I wish I could have a sign that says, ‘Please Do Touch,’” she laughed.

Papanek-Miller and Brant both have other jobs outside of their artwork, but they still find the time to devote to their works.

“Every artist knows that it is about juggling a lot of things but staying true to your passion,” Brant said.

Papanek-Miller agreed.

“We work as much as we can,” she said.

Both Papanek-Miller and Brant believe that it is very important for students to never stop working on their art, especially after graduation. Brant said the most important thing to do after graduation is to “find a space for your creative practice.” She said a garage or even a desk in your bedroom can suffice.

According to Brant, it isn’t often that an artist is invited to the exhibit where his or her work is being shown. For this reason she is very excited to participate in this exhibit.

This unique exhibit will be available for viewing until this Thursday.

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