Margit Schmitt and Kim Tschida Petters explore 'The Memory of Architecture'

Retelling a tale often involves exaggeration or blatant guess-work to fill in details that have been forgotten. Artists Margit Schmitt and Kim Tschida Petters have stories to tell, many of which are inspired by their memories of architecture. As a result, there are voids in what they recollect. Part of the fun of their paintings is that they too must exaggerate and do their best at guessing what those missing bits are--and they must do so with their paint brushes. From Schmitt's website, "I abstract my work to heighten the fragments of the ambiguous process of remembering. The representational elements in the work evoke the bits of past experience that are recognizable... My work expresses the wanting to reconstruct the past, but inability to regenerate the memory."

Beginning Friday, Schmitt's and Petters's paintings will be on display for "The Memory of Architecture" at the Raymond Avenue Gallery in St. Paul.

Both artists are working in an abstract style, which makes sense when dealing with memories. Petters takes a bold approach, using strong lines and solid colors, while Schmitt employs translucent washes. Schmitt's work appears to also have a strong cubist influence, and though her images lean toward the abstract, the reason for this is actually quite literal. "The paintings' washes, drips, and smears reference the slipperiness of memories," says Schmitt. And since her subjects are modern structures, her paintings even have a tinge of Frank Lloyd Wright about them. The heightened imagery she talks of clearly shows in her use of vibrant citrus colors--though as a girl who grew up in California, perhaps this is one detail she didn't have to exaggerate.

"The Memory of Architecture" will be on display from February 18 through March 31 at the Raymond Avenue Gallery, located at 761 Raymond Avenue in St. Paul. The gallery is open Tuesdays though Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join the artists for an opening night reception on Friday, February 18 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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