Unsinkable Stories

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MSUM faculty creates ‘Unsinkable Stories’

The work of Lauren Rose Kinney, Kelli Sinner, and Patrick Vincent

By Sabrina Hornung

“Unsinkable Stories” is an exhibition featuring the work of three Minnesota State University Moorhead faculty members: gallery director and printmaker Lauren Rose Kinney, ceramics professor Kelli Sinner and printmaking instructor Patrick Vincent. The three young professional artists were invited to exhibit by Nemeth Art Center director Meredith Lynn.

“The title and concept of the show was inspired by similar themes Lauren, Patrick and I all share in our artwork,” Sinner said. “Our pieces physically use paper in interesting ways and conceptually have an ethereal and floating quality to the work. We all also incorporate narrative elements in the pieces and that is what inspired the title ‘Unsinkable Stories.’”

Sinner will exhibit six new ceramic and handmade paper wall pieces as well as a selection of handmade books. Her work has a very whimsical organic feminine quality to it due to the flowing lines of her sculptural work as well as her use of a pastel color palette.

Sinner’s new pieces are a combination of two separate projects that she has been developing for a while.

“I am excited by the similarities and contrasts of the two materials,” she said. “Both mediums have a long history and rely on pressure, timing and water to make a successful piece. But while clay is strong and heavy, paper is light and delicate, and they complement each other in an interesting way.”

Kinney is a printmaker who works in woodcut, intaglio and book arts. For this exhibition she will show two large woodcuts, four drawings, two story books, two books of poems and a group of six woodcuts as part of a collaboration between her and her husband Patrick Vincent.

“The structure of the book allows for concrete parameters where my collaborator(s) and I can play with and explore new worlds,” Kinney said. “I like working with writers that have an abstract/surreal quality.”

Kinney is also a collector of unusual items, which greatly contributes to the surreal element of her work, as her secrets pull themselves from her subconscious and embed themselves in her wood blocks.

Kinney added: “I wanted to make life-sized work to make to sort of enfold the viewer in my imaginary worlds – to create walk-in bookplate style work. I am greatly inspired by books and love the way a good story can draw you completely into it, I wanted my work to function in the same way – like a book that you want to read over and over, and each time you do, you find new things within it.”

Vincent was drawn to printmaking because it has a history in narration and illustration.

“I also have a lot of respect for printmaking artists because they are often working with current, politically-charged themes and are eager to engage broad, public audiences through their art,” he said.

For this exhibition, Vincent’s screenprints use animal metaphors to depict the effects of the oil boom on our part of the country.

“For instance, in one piece I parallel those endless trains of oil with a snake body,” he said.

“In a way I’m telling politically-charged stories, but in other ways I’m creating ghost stories based on living in a wind-swept place where industry has a sort of tangential link to the macabre.”

Unsinkable Stories feat. Lauren Rose Kinney, Kelli Sinner and Patrick Vincent
May 1 – 24
Nemeth Art Center, 301 Court Avenue, Park Rapids, Minn.