A Celebration of All Things Cultural, Artistic, and Entertaining in Madison
Nov 2, 2011
09:42 AM

Total Eclipse

Total Eclipse

While we’ve been enjoying a pleasant autumn this year, every Midwesterner lives with the reality that winter is never far away.

This sentiment is at the heart of Summer Eclipsed, the latest exhibition at Steenbock Gallery, open through this Friday, November 4.

In the show, Appleton-based photographer Kendall McMinimy presents sixteen large photographs of traditionally summery scenes shown in the dead of winter as “an exploration of the complex relationship northerners have with winter, a struggle that defines the character of the region”

No humans are included in these quiet slices of life, making winter’s effect on deck chairs, trampolines, basketball hoops, motorcycles and other symbols of carefree summertime fun even stronger.

In one work, five Adirondack chairs sit in a row, covered in snow; in others, a colorful drive-in movie theater and water park sit abandoned for the season.

In a photograph of an empty hotel pool, the blue edges and waterslide are the only pops of color against the snow, while in an image of a small airplane, the surrounding field and sky are so bleakly white the viewer almost doesn’t see the plane, which clearly isn’t going anywhere this day.

The images are compelling and familiar and tap into the sometimes forceful, sometimes ambiguous feelings Midwesterners often have about winter. While many of us may not look forward to the snow and ice, we know it’s coming. Then again, the promise of summer’s return is an equal reality.

And that leads to another characteristically Midwestern trait—the notion that we’ll appreciate summer all the more after a hard winter.

Says McMinimy, “These images are intended to draw the viewer into the snowy isolation—to feel the effect of a long winter, and to place a high value on what summer will bring.”

Summer Eclipsed runs through November 4 at Steenbock Gallery.

Photos courtesy of mcminimy.com.

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About This Blog

As managing editor at Madison Magazine, I'm also an unabashed arts enthusiast. Paintings, plays, music, movies—I'm intrigued by all forms of creative expression. I enjoy talking with artists and sharing their insights, challenges, inspirations and latest endeavors. Check in regularly for details on events, previews and reviews, artist interviews and more! 

– Katie Vaughn
Follow Katie on Twitter @katiemv

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