The Wunderkammer Company hosted its two year anniversary celebration on January 10, 2015 in its 7,000 square foot art center and gallery in Fort Wayne. This is an exciting and dynamic space helping bring life back into the Oakdale Historic District on the Southwest Side of the city. If you were in the open space of the main gallery you might have noticed a blur whizzing through the space stopping to connect and chat with various artists and community members, that blur was the the ever-energetic and passionate founder and executive director, Dan Swartz.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Dan for a few moments during the event. The Wunderkammer mission, “To revitalize communities through contemporary art,” is one that Dan believes in completely, and his passion for the art community is contagious. The show up for the celebration was eclectic and well attended, with a fantastic live show by a local aerialist and treats from Zinnia’s, a local bakery. Here are some highlights:
Austin Cartwright was represented with a piece indicative of his recognizable style. A combination of soft, cool modulating colors with Cubist-inspired division of space. As usual for Cartwright, the piece is both soothing but maintains a sharp, edgy feel.
I admit, I missed this piece my first time around the gallery. On a second pass around I noticed the tag claiming it was painted with beef blood. The loose, confident hand crafting the flowers is reminiscent of late 19th century abstract styles. I think the piece could have been more eye catching with more attention to detail and a greater tonal variation. I would love to talk to Butcher Bob and hear the story behind this piece.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by Lady Eve, a silk aerialist local to Fort Wayne. I got a chance to speak with her in-between sets. She’s a very talented aerialist just getting started in the region, look for her performances at Wunderkammer in the future.
Gregg Coffee’s was my favorite print in the show. Bright, dynamic with intriguing details, I really love the depth and layering and how the composition moves.
This fabric work, by Joel Fremoion, is my favorite fabric pieces I’ve seen in a long time. Gorgeous, fluid, and vibrant. I kept coming back to it throughout the night.
Finally, here’s artist Alexandra Hall with a fun piece that displays her bright, optimistic style. I’m looking forward to learning more about her process and inspirations.
Fueled by the passion of the staff, Wunderkammer is poised to be a leader in the contemporary art community in the region. If you are in the area, make it a point to visit this art center.