Motta's sentimental piece includes her grandmother's hand reaching out to touch a flower.

Maren Ostrem

Motta and Wilgren inspire with Drake Gallery art show

March 13, 2019

That’s something I’m always seeking, connection.”

— US Art Teacher Stefanie Motta

A quiet buzz fills the Drake Gallery as students and teachers wander throughout the space, snacking on cookies and studying the newly installed art pieces hanging on the walls. The exhibit is called “With All My Heart,” reflecting the personal aspect of the many pieces created by MS Art Teacher Cheryl Wilgren Clyne and US Art Teacher Stefanie Motta.

“On the surface, it probably doesn’t look like our art is in the same place, but we are talking about a lot of the same things, like the fragility of life and nature’s fragility, and the importance of reflection and humanity… I think there’s an underlying thread that puts our art in the same spot together. I think it looks good together because it’s not the same, but there are certain things you can pull out and say, ‘Oh yeah, these two people are thinking about some of the same things,’” Wilgren said.

The two specialize in different mediums, as Motta is primarily a photographer and video maker, while Wilgren draws.

“I have several drawings in the show. This series of drawing is primarily about my relationship and the human relationship to water. So I’m thinking a lot about water and the reflective surfaces and all the metaphors that go with that,” Wilgren said.

I think there’s an underlying thread that puts our art in the same spot together. I think it looks good together because it’s not the same, but there are certain things you can pull out and say, ‘Oh yeah, these two people are thinking about some of the same things.”

— MS Art Teacher Cheryl Wilgren Cline

While Motta is mainly a photographer, a specific item from her childhood sparked an idea for a theme. This theme inspired her to mix mediums that she didn’t usually work with.

“My grandmother was the inspiration for the project and I found this old flower press that we had used when I was a kid and there were some old papers in it that basically had the imprint of the flowers that we had pressed together when I was a kid, so the flowers are gone but the impression is still there,” Motta explained.

Wilgren also created her art while thinking of a relative of her own.

“ My mom passed away this year, or last year, in the fall, and so the drawings really helped me think about her, and things that are happening in my life.” Not only were the drawings created partially in memory to Wilgren’s mother, but they also serve as a form of meditation.

“When I start them, I think about the subject and I think about only positive things about the subject, even, I would dare to use the word love, is in there so I think about love and kindness and those things, and sustainability when I’m thinking about water, and if something not positive enters my mind, I stop drawing. Then I’m sure that the drawing is full of love and positive things,” Wilgren said.

While these pieces are all quite personal, the pair strives to create art that anyone can connect to.

“I think that it was interesting, a couple of the comments I received. One was ‘Oh this color is so nice, this time of year,’ or someone told me the picture of my grandmother’s hand reminded them of their mother, and so I’m hoping that people can find a connection, whether it’s, ‘Oh this is a color that I find really beautiful,’ ‘I like flowers too, they’re pretty,’ or ‘That reminds me of someone in my family.’ That’s something I’m always seeking, connection,” Motta said.

“With All My Heart” will be shown at the Drake Gallery until April.

 

 

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