Breehan James & Trent Miller in Shepherd Express - June, 2014

Two New Exhibits Open at Tory Folliard:  Art of the wilderness (and the edge of the world)

By Tyler Friedman, June 2013

At Tory Folliard Gallery, two new exhibitions hold court beginning May 30. Native daughter of Wisconsin, Yale Master of Fine Arts and assistant professor at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design Breehan James presents “Way of the Wilderness,” a study of favorite locations in her family’s Wisconsin hunting camp and the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. With tree-reflecting brooks and forest floors crocheted by fallen leaves, James’ canvases capture the repetitive patterns of nature and instill in the viewer a similar meditative calm.

 Breehan James, FRENCH RIVER, Acrylic on Paper, 22 x 30" , framed: 27 x 34"

Breehan James, FRENCH RIVER, Acrylic on Paper, 22 x 30" , framed: 27 x 34"

Trent Miller’s exhibition makes a humble request: “Meet Me at the Edge of the World.” Miller is already a step ahead when it comes to breaking out of the artistic mainstream, seeing as he uses Emery Blagdon’s Healing Machine as a visual point of departure. Outsider artist extraordinaire, Blagdon spent 36 years putting together more than 400 paintings, baroque wire mobiles and found items into a surreal, shed-sized installation that he believed to have curative powers. Miller favors similarly carnival-esque colors and hypnotic structures.

 Trent Miller, HEALING MACHINE / EIKON I, Oil on Panel, 8 x 6"

Trent Miller, HEALING MACHINE / EIKON I, Oil on Panel, 8 x 6"

Representation versus abstraction, soothing versus invigorating, earth tones versus hues not on Mother Nature’s palette: these two exhibitions may diverge on a number of scores, but the contraries are always complementary.

From the Shepherd Express, June 2014