Three Minnesota artists representing different mediums and methods offer work that can add meaning, comfort and intrigue to your interior spaces.
The work: After retiring from the corporate world, Pearson leaned into her lifelong love of photography. Photos she took of applique dresses during a Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska pow wow inspire the embroidery art she’s working with now. She replicates the patterns on pieces of fabric and arranges them in a frame suitable for hanging, creating a new context for traditional crafts that lets her express her passion for nature and the Winnebago tribe’s history. Ideas for new pieces come from those pow wows, her family, and the 100-plus-mile hikes she takes with her husband, Tim. Pearson’s work has appeared in group and solo exhibitions in Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska.
The philosophy: “Reciprocity is an important idea for me; there’s give and take, mirrored images, keeping the balance between everything,” says Pearson.
What’s next: She has recently branched into wearable art, stitching her designs into denim jackets.
For more: lorienepearson.com
The Work: Peña, based in the Twin Cities, uses beads, thread and lights to create geometric sculptures — called “sculptural beadweavings” — that explore shapes pulled from science fiction and the natural world. As a child, Peña learned fiber arts from their family, such as knitting, cross-stitching and beading, as well as home repairs and construction from their father’s extensive remodeling projects. When they learned the peyote stitch, a beading pattern that lends itself to building large shapes, they found the perfect way to blend the experiences they had into a personalized art form. Peña’s art expresses their thoughts about issues in the world, ranging from colonialism’s impact on the environment to the possibility of meeting extraterrestrial life.
The philosophy: “What I’m all about is curiosity. I’m always trying to dive deeper into the structure of things. I want to take something apart and put it back together, maybe in a way that isn’t strictly realistic but captures its essential qualities. I want to keep exploring,” Peña says.
What’s next: Peña says they are still evolving, learning new techniques and expanding their knowledge of math and geometry. They use Adobe Procreate to design custom beading patterns that suit their vision, and then stitch the components together by hand.
For more: erinpenaart.com
The work: A University of Minnesota graduate with a focus on abstract paintings, prints and installations, Bokamba’s style is colorful and joyous. Her art celebrates beauty she finds, whether in the busy interconnectedness of modern life or the meditative silence in nature. Using inks and paints in broad swipes and free-form trickles, she breaks down narratives and her questions about the world and expresses them as color and shape, inviting viewers to wander through a new perspective. Bokamba’s art has appeared in galleries, public spaces and shows throughout the Twin Cities and the United States as well as Italy.
The philosophy: “I’m always exploring multimedia abstract painting, creating immersive paintings to delight the senses, sculpt whole environments and function on multiple levels, addressing political conundrums and cultural myths. I’m part of a group of contemporary artists whose practice lives at the intersection of a desire for social transformation and a commitment to beauty.”
What’s next: In 2024, she’ll continue collaborations with a contemporary art center in Lombardy, Italy, and will have a solo show.
For more: eyengabokambapaintings.com