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Indepth Arts News:

"Organic Plan: Mixed Media Sound and Sculpture Installation by Kristin Tollefson"
2005-04-08 until 2005-05-27
Jack Straw Foundation and New Media Gallery
Seattle, WA, USA United States of America

The Jack Straw New Media Gallery will open Organic Plan, a mixed media sound and sculpture installation by artist Kristin Tollefson, on Friday, April 8, 2005, with a public reception at 7pm. An artist talk for the exhibition will be held Saturday, April 30, at 11:30am. Both events are free and open to the public. Organic Plan is based on Tollefson's time living and working in Iceland. Her mixed media installation draws on native plants, music, words, and traditional Icelandic metal thread embroidery to explore life cycles, movement, and creative labor.

A native of Bainbridge Island, Washington, Tollefson's metal sculpture and jewelry have gained national attention and have been shown at the William Traver Gallery (Seattle), Pratt Fine Arts Center (Seattle), Scandinavia House (New York), The Craft and Arts Gallery (Oakland, CA), and the Phoenix Center for the Arts (Phoenix, AZ). She has also exhibited in Iceland and Japan. Most recently, Tollefson curated a group exhibition in the City of Seattle‚s City Space Gallery at the Bank of America Tower entitled Transition and Transformation.

Organic Plan consists of a sculptural metal ring suspended from the gallery ceiling, which echoes the Icelandic tradition of placing a round kiosk or hringsja at a place that gives visitors a 360-degree view of the surrounding panorama with names of notable places marked on a round map. This circular wire sculpture borrows strongly in its construction from baldyring, a traditional Icelandic embroidery technique using metal thread, and depicts stylized imagery of native plants of Iceland that are also found in the Pacific Northwest. On the gallery walls surrounding this central work are drawings and video stills showing narrative images of landscape and botanical subjects. The themes of interweaving, growth, and degeneration are enhanced by a collage of folk tunes performed by Tollefson on accordion with lyrics spoken in English and Icelandic. The songs represent different phases of the cycle of life: childhood, young adulthood, middle age, and old age.


Kristin Tollefson has a Masters in Fine Arts in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology/Sociology and Art History from Carleton College in Minnesota. She draws particular influence for her work from plant forms and working with her hands, and makes art ranging in scope from jewelry to large-scale public artworks.

Kristin has received grants and awards from Fulbright, The American-Scandinavian Foundation, Bainbridge Arts & Humanities Council, Artist Trust, and Jack Straw Productions, among others. She has lived and traveled extensively in Iceland, experiences that continue to strongly influence her work. Her sculptural work out of wire has been featured in Fiberarts Design Book 7 and the Spring 2004 issue of Metalsmith Magazine. She is currently developing a large-scale public art commission for the Montlake Community Center in Seattle. Kristin grew up on Bainbridge Island, where she now raises her two children and runs flora/form, a business specializing in design, illustration, fabrication, and consulting on a variety of art and garden related projects.

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