General 8-24-2006

State Fair Winners: Prints and Painting loves the State Fair! Every year we run brief profiles of the first-place winners in the Fine Arts show. This year we'll start with Patty Scott (prints) and Nicholas Harper (painting, oils and acrylic). Stay tuned for the other six winners!

king of clubs


Patricia A. Scott, Minneapolis

King of Clubs (intaglio print)

Patty Scott makes prints, everything from monotypes and monoprints to linocuts and lithography and intaglio. She has a degree in printmaking from the University of Minnesota, where she worked with Malcom Myers in etching and the other wonderful faculty there in lithography and relief printing. When she was a small child, she did potato prints and rubbings of coins; she says it seemed a kind of magic to her. When asked what drew her to printmaking, she said that it was “the surprises—the markmaking itself, how you can make a mark through different surfaces—like as a child doing rubbings on a coin. The revelation of it. I’ve always loved drawing, too, and in a way it’s the closest thing there is to drawing.”

Scott lives in Northeast Minneapolis, and shares a studio in the Northrup King Building. The industrial surroundings of her studio have strongly formed her work. She tells this story about the development of her subject matter: “The building in the image at the fair is a building that no longer exists, that I found to be kind of an eyesore. I had been in England, and saw a lot of pretty buildings there, and did drawings of them—and I came back, and at first was so dismayed by the ugly concrete structures. But I drew them, and eventually came to embrace the eyesores. I began to embrace them and found some beauty in them. I was trying to work more figuratively, and I was drawing a lot of buildings and cityscape–I’m kind of a closet architect, I suppose–but I started including images of things that up til then I hadn’t considered worthy of inclusion. A few years ago, for example, there was truck in my neighborhood; when the setting sun hit it it emphasized the misaligned fenders, the faded and patchy colors. It was beautiful! But I no sooner started to photograph it than the owner fixed it up and sold it. Same with the building in the State Fair piece—it’s gone now. That has happened to many of my subjects in the Northeast.”

Painting: oil, acrylic, mixed media

Nicholas Harper, Minneapolis
The Bride (oil and mixed media on panel)

Nicholas Harper is the owner of Rogue Buddha gallery, a fixture of the Northeast artist community. Obviously his duties as a gallerist have not interfered with his need to paint, but only enabled his vision. His highly romantic paintings evoking a bohemian wonderland populated by longnecked beauties are favorites of the scene. A review of his work by Valerie Valentine on described his work as “lovely. Ranging from new brides to wise matrons, his pantheon of women exudes mystery, their brooding eyes gazing out from the walls. Pablo Picasso [whose birthday Harper shares] liked to portray women, too – it was his steady obsession. To portray the perplexity of femininity as a man is an ambitious objective that Harper performs with respect and devotion. “

Harper terms his style “magical realism” rather than surrealism. He refers to South American writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez as influences, and also attributes his imaginative work to the influence of the many artists and musicians and performers who flow through his space, contributing their creativity to the 13th Street mix.