Minnesota-based Ward’s exhibit is entitled “Den” and opens Jan. 6 in the Merwin Gallery.
Ward works between the realms of science, art and education, creating public art projects
about the environment, water systems and electric power generation. She is artist
in residence, education coordinator and program specialist for the Science Museum
Recently she became co-director of REcharge Labs, continuing her work developing projects,
writing curriculum and training teachers in renewable energy education. She’s involved
in two large public art projects in Minnesota: one in downtown Saint Paul, and the
other, a 27-foot-tall aluminum and steel solar tree sculpture in Franconia Sculpture
Ward said her sculptures are models of imagined places made real. They reference the
topography of river valleys, moon craters and underwater environments. She uses light
and shadow upon layers of plastic in order to distort perspective and depth, and embed
movement in select pieces to give the landscapes subtle qualities of life. Ward graduated
from Colorado State University after earning an associate’s degree from Elgin Community
College in Illinois.
Ryder is an Iowa-based painter. Her work will be displayed in the exhibit “Her Undulating
Earth” opening Jan. 6 in the Wakeley Gallery, and is inspired by the complexities
of the natural world and the complexities of the human brain and soul. The gouache
paintings in the exhibit were born from a desire to connect with nature and to connect
with feelings she’d prefer to ignore, Ryder said.
“My life is made up of bursts of extreme happiness followed by periods of neutral
grey,” said Ryder in an artist’s statement. “I’ve learned to not fear those grey moments
because they make me who I am. The grey moments encourage me to seek beauty by creating
Ryder received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Bradley University and earned a
Master of Fine Arts degree from Northern Illinois University.
Ward will present a lecture about her work at 4 p.m. Jan. 7 in Room 218 of the Ames School of Art. A reception for both artists will follow. The works of both artists will remain
on display through Feb. 4. The galleries are located in the Ames School of Art, 6
Ames Plaza West, Bloomington, and are open Monday through Friday 12 to 4 p.m., Saturday
and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m., and Tuesday evenings 7 to 9 p.m.