GARRETT, Ind. (WPTA21) — An art museum in one corner of 21 Country is highlighting emerging artists.
You’ll usually find work by established artists with established reputations in art museums, known artists simply attract more visitors. For a museum to highlight work by unknown talent takes courage and a dedication to art history yet unmade.
“Being a new artist it sparks a passion to create more and go further. And it gives them a sense of hope and I think it gives them a sense of passion to create more,” Jim Gabbard said.
The Garrett Museum of Art is a small museum with a big museum vision, launching its first annual emerging artist exhibition giving some talented as-yet unknowns a chance to be seen.
The works of four young women are here, emerging artists who see art as a means to explore social and personal issues.
Photographer Sabine Croy is still a Fort Wayne high school student. She submitted an image called ‘How we raise our children’ which addresses gun violence. The water pistols on an American flag suggests the roots of that crisis often sprout in childhood.
Another mixed media photo called ‘Noise’ by Fort Wayne artist Sarah Conrad, explores her struggle with ADHD, how it scrambles and confuses her sense of time and place. What this exhibition really highlights is the optimism young artists often possess that art can actually change the world.
“Think of something close to you that you want to change…race relations in America, do you want to talk about gender in America and how can personal issues relate to you,” Gabbard said. “And that seems to me to make it really unique and individual as something different that nobody else can do ’cause it’s all you.”
Photographer Grace Berg’s work is heartbreaking. The University of St. Francis student explores the suicide of her friend Makayla and how her death affects those who knew her. A letter from Makayla’s mother expresses the grief and guilt known only to those who’ve lost a child.
Berg’s image accompanying the letter is of a home shuttered, closed off from the world. A letter is from Grace Berg’s friend Morgan who didn’t know Makayla but speaks to her of how her suicide torments grace, the representative image an unfinished and empty house.
The work here is compelling and optimistic that despite the complexity and tenacity of society’s problems. These fresh eyes and minds just might find solutions.