FMAAA goin’ fishin’ during May exhibit

BY LORI ILLNER GREENE
FMAAA Director

FORT MADISON – The FMAAA welcomes Michael Ericson and Steve Larimer, both of Macomb, IL for the May 2022 exhibition at the Art Center of Two Fishermen and Their Art
Please join us on Friday, May 6th, 2022 from 5 pm to 7 pm as we celebrate with an Opening Reception in the Main Gallery of the Art Center located at 825 Avenue G in Fort Madison.
Their exhibit will feature pieces made individually along with some mixed media collaborative work. Ericson utilizes wood to create finely crafted panels with geometric designs, juxtaposing blocks of color and texture as he designs out the surfaces.
Larimer works in a variety of media but will be focusing on painted surfaces with this exhibit. He paints in acrylics/airbrush, watercolors, and ceramics among other media. Larimer creates porcelain tiles reflective of the beautiful patterning found on the sides of trout.
Their collaborative works feature these tiles incorporated with wood designs to form interesting and unique displays.
Both men were involved in the arts and became educators in Macomb, Illinois. Ericson as the Professor of Oboe, at Western Illinois University from 1986-2016. During that time, Ericson also served as the Principal Oboe of the Peoria and Knox-Galesburg symphonies and had the distinguished opportunity to be a performing member of the Camerata Woodwind Quintet.
While he was a “spectacular disaster in high school woodshop” during his youth, after retiring from Western Ericson pursued crafting furniture building much of the current furnishings of the Ericson household. Left with a great deal of fine wood odds and ends, his present art practice MBE Woodworking, literally emerged from the stacks of scrap in his garage focusing on the asymmetric design that emerges as he positions the pieces in relationship with others. His Etsy shop online keeps him busy.
Larimer, with a degree in Art Education along with eleven years of experience in the printing industry, taught Graphic Arts at Macomb High School. Later he began teaching Fine Art and Technology at Macomb Junior High retiring in 2019 leaving him more time to further develop his own studio practice.
Larimer, while he has been an active member volunteer in local arts organizations for more than 45 years, has recently taken on more roles in the Two Rivers Arts Council for which he continues to serve as a Board member, and the Macomb Art Center where he now schedules the art events.
After Larimer introduced Ericson to the art of fly-fishing, the two have become avid fishing buddies, taking time out of their busy fishing season that already commenced with a fishing trip here at the end of April to exhibit with us here at the Art Center in May. 
As always, we are grateful to our many sponsors who help defray the costs of bringing exhibitions to the Art Center for the community to engage with. This month’s exhibition is brought to us through the generous sponsorship of Climax Molybdenum.
If you haven’t stopped in to visit the Art Center lately (or ever,) please consider taking in this exhibit. It is an interesting take on an artisan to fine arts process through the lens of these two men. It will be on display in its entirety until the evening of May 28th when the Art Center hosts our end of the month performance series, FINALE, and comes down on May 31st as we make way for Grace Bell’s RETROSPECTIVE photography exhibition for the month of June.
The Fort Madison Area Arts Association is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm. 

April Lunch ala Art and FINALE. May Art Happenings:
The FMAAA Art Center will host its monthly artist talk luncheon Lunch ala Art on Friday, April 29th at noon. Our featured exhibition this month is the High School Art Show, and we had some excellent submissions by students from throughout the region. We expect to have a few of them on hand to discuss their work and the ideas that went it as we enjoy lunch catered in from Major Oak. Get your reservations in by calling 319-372-3996 by Wednesday the 27th to be included in the headcount for lunch. You do not need to join in the luncheon to attend this gallery talk event. This month’s exhibit was sponsored by Lee County Bank. 

FINALE the Art Center’s monthly performance series is Saturday, April 30th from 6pm to 9pm. 6pm is open mic for youth performances with Brad Kurtz and Company taking over at 7pm with a lively evening planned for us. Attendance is free, with snacks and soft drinks available for purchase. BYOB.

May Art Happenings:
Friday, May 6th  | 5pm – 7pm in the Main Gallery | Art Opening Reception for Two Men and Their Art, works by Michael Ericson and Stephen Larrimer of Macomb, Illinois. On display until May 31st. Sponsored by Climax Molybdenum.
Friday, May 13th  | 6:30 pm McAleer Hall | Expressions Art Auction  
FMAAA’s Expression’s Art Auction is our premier annual event – join us for an evening of wine tasting, delicious hors d’oeurves from The Grange of Mt Pleasant, and beautiful Art! Live and silent auction of artwork, excellent adventures, and memorable experiences. Cash bar. Tickets $40 / VIP Tables $400
Wednesday, May 18, 2022  | 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm | Tie Dye T-shirts (and socks) Class   
Cost is $10/person (pre-register by Wednesday, May 11th.)  PLUS bring your pre-washed 100% cotton t-shirt or tank for tie dying. We provide socks for you to also try out the alcohol dye process with. These classes fill up fast so get your space reserved.
Friday, May 27th, 2022 | 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm | Lunch ala Art artist talk and luncheon
Cost is $9 per person and reservations are recommended. You do not need to eat lunch to attend the gallery talk.   
Saturday, May 28th, 2022 | 6pm to 9pm |  FINALE an open mic performance series in the Main Gallery.

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