A new art show all about Pine City is opening soon – and it’s all to support the nonprofit Pine Center for the Arts.
“Picturing Pine City” celebrates the images and icons of life in the Pine City area – the Voyageur statue, Sauser’s Hardware, Nicoll’s Cafe, the Pine County Fair, Art in the Park, days on the lake, pictures of farm life and nature and more – with over 40 original images on display.
And all profits from art sales will go back to the Pine Center for the Arts to help pay for gallery space, art classes, music lessons and the free Summer Arts program for kids.
A free opening night reception will be held on June 9 starting at 4 p.m., and Mike Gainor said he was excited to put Pine City in the spotlight in Pine City’s own art gallery.
Gainor has been taking photos professionally through his job as editor of the Pine City Pioneer, but said he never considered himself any kind of visual artist until after he got involved in Pine Center for the Arts.
Gainor said he was inspired by a long list of local artists like Dee Kotaska, Keith Raivo, Gail Gates, Terri Huro-Torgerson, Barb Dreyer, Bill Rose, Lois Lapp, Kristin Webster, Peg Skalicky, Amber Shuey, Stan Grubbs and Dell Gross.
“There are just so many creative people in the area doing fantastic work,” Gainor said. “When you see what they do with their talents and skills, you can’t help but get inspired.”
Gainor said that just two years ago he discovered how a new neural network technology called DeepStyle could be used to make ordinary digital images into unique works of art.
“You can literally take any photo and transform it with elements of any other image,” Gainor explained. “It’s mindblowing. The possibilities are endless. There are free apps online and anyone can do it. And it’s ridiculously fun.”
“I became a little obsessed,” he confessed. “Taking a photograph is usually about capturing a moment. I saw how this could maybe bring out the emotion of that moment. I started taking a lot of photos and mixing them up, then shaping those images with other tools. And every once in a while, usually after hundreds of failures, I’d find a combination of images and techniques that would become something kind of wonderful.”
Most of the framed artworks are for sale at $20 or under, and prints of each piece are available for a discount, with all profits going to Pine Center for the Arts. Gainor has previously shown work at Wyoming’s Halberg Art Center, the IMAGE Art Show, and Pine Center for the Arts, but this is his first solo show.
“The Art Center’s motto is ‘The Arts are for Everyone,’ and I’m living proof,” Gainor said. “It’s only because of Pine Center for the Arts that I got started down this path, and it’s the people and places in and around Pine City that inspired everything you’ll see in this show. So it’s only right that the show helps the Art Center continue their good work in Pine City.”
“Picturing Pine City” opens on Friday, June 9 with a free reception at Pine Center for the Arts (265 5th Street SE) from 4-7 p.m. The show will be open for viewing through July 1 during the Art Center’s regular summer hours: Thursdays 3-6 p.m., Fridays 4-7 p.m. and Saturdays from noon-3 p.m. For more information contact Pine Center for the Arts at 320-629-4924 or email firstname.lastname@example.org