'Foundlore' exhibition at the Vine Arts Center

Three brothers and two roommates have been working together in one studio to create an art exhibition that comments on our media-saturated and recycle-saturated world. The collaboration, "Foundlore," is exactly what it sounds like: a combination of found-object art and folklore. But it's not folklore in the traditional sense of the word; their re-use of materials presents a reinvented style of Americana.

Along with found objects, the exhibition presents visitors with a wide selection of mediums including wood sculptures, photographs, mosaics, and functional art. It's a colorful show that's even more intriguing when the specific materials reveal themselves.

For instance, Ryan Sweere uses bottle caps from numerous beverages--paying close attention to the red, white, and blue tops--to create Bottlecap Old Glory, a large mosaic of the American flag.

His brother Michael Sweere seems tantalized by tin as well. He creates landscapes and other collages using recycled tin from food canisters he's collected from thrift stores. He attaches the cut-out shapes to plywood canvasses with hammer and nails.

Jonathan, another Sweere brother, has found his way toward more non-traditional materials as well. Although he is trained in the style of classical realism, he frequently explores other artistic mediums. For this show, he is showcasing ceramic and glass clocks, as well as other types of glass works, including his melted or "slumped" glass bottles.

Photographer Matt Flueger shows a side of Ft. Snelling that is rarely seen. His photographs focus on the textures and wayward imagery of abandoned buildings on the outskirts of the Fort.

Kristoffer West Johnson creates large-scale iconographic-style paintings usually associated with religious imagery, though his subjects aren't necessarily religious. According to the artist, his acrylic and varnished pieces may not be recycled, but the ideas expressed on his canvases allude to a reinterpretation of ideas.

"Foundlore" will be on display at the Vine Arts Center, located at 2637 27th Avenue South in Minneapolis, through May 7, 2011.

Michael Sweere with tin landscape
Michael Sweere with tin landscape

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