Thursday, June 07, 2012

Finlandia Gallery hosts "Dale Wedig: Mentalsmith" June 7-July 20

Artist Dale Wedig, with student in his jewelry class. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

HANCOCK -- "Dale Wedig: Mentalsmith," is featured at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, from June 7 to July 20, 2012.

An opening reception for the artist will take place at the gallery from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, June 7. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Controlled and complicated, whimsical and expressive, even sophisticated and naïve: these contradictory statements capture the essence of Dale Wedig’s artwork. Ranging in size from jewelry to architectural installations, his work incorporates metal processes from blacksmithing, welding, and casting to sheet-forming, fabrication, and foundry applications.

Whether it’s sculpture, furniture, hollow ware, or jewelry, Wedig’s art celebrates the melding of form and function. The inherent qualities of the metals he uses -- strength, luster, and density -- provide physical and visual testimonies, while his hands provide the object’s character.

Dale Wedig, Aluminum Table, Red Line, 2004, 36" x 42" x 24." Aluminum and Rubber. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

Art-making can be described as the physical and mental labor involved in creating an object from an idea, and the end result can be very satisfying.

For Wedig, however, it is the activity and struggle of the art-making process that is most inspiring.

"Life without labor is guilt," Wedig says. "I like to keep busy recording my lifetime by making tangible objects from the ideas that float through my head."

Wedig is a professor of art and design at Northern Michigan University, Marquette, and for 28 years has been head of the metalsmithing and sculpture departments there.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by appointment.

For additional information, contact gallery director Carrie Flaspohler at 906-487-7500 or 

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