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New exhibition at First Bank and Trust Art Gallery

February 24, 2019

Steven Schloemer’s exhibition “Vertical Horizons – Imagined Landscapes,” is on display in the First Bank and Trust Dakota State Art Gallery through March 15.  

Schloemer is based in Watsonville, Calif., where he uses his experiences in nature to inspire his paintings displayed in this exhibit, which feature landscapes on a vertical format.

“He uses that vertical horizon as a way to suggest an alternative as to how we normally see landscape itself when we look at it,” said Alan Montgomery, director of the First Bank and Trust Art Gallery. 

Schloemer’s paintings have recognizable elements from landscape, in addition to containing a lot of visual metaphors and universal symbols, according to Montgomery. 

In Schloemer’s artist statement he explains that “a tree might suggest some quality of human suffering, or even aspiration or exultation – and hence, its shape becomes more symbolic of the human condition than a literal depiction.”

In addition to Schloemer’s formatting style, Montgomery was interested in Schloemer because his experiences are representative of another part of the country. Bringing an artist who lives in a different environment can inspire new thoughts and create a dialogue about new ideas, he explained. 

“It’s important to bring in artists from other places so we can get a sense of how other people think and what they’re thinking about,” Montgomery said.  

Montgomery hopes this exhibition and future ones will introduce students and the public to new artists, provide educational opportunities, and inspire viewers to take an interest in art.  

The 20 unframed paintings by Schloemer will be displayed through Friday, March 15. A public reception will be held on Tuesday, March 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. All paintings are available for purchase.