Abstract art exhibit at West Acres another reason to hit up the mall

“An Atmosphere of Abstract” exhibits through March 26 at West Acres Shopping Center and features works from 13 local artists of the Plains School of Abstract Painting. Contributed Photo / West Acres

You’re probably not thinking about art when you’re at the mall browsing discount shoe racks or walking off a food court snack.

Yet, surprisingly, West Acres Shopping Center is home to the region’s largest collection of local art, regularly hosts artists in residencies and art classes. It permanently houses Aptitude creative arts studios, frequently puts on live shows and concerts, and is currently featuring 13 of the area’s most distinguished abstract artists in a whimsical space once home to a Bath and Body Works. 

“An Atmosphere of Abstract” opened in January and runs through March 13, according to Alissa Adams, chief operating officer at West Acres.

“An Atmosphere of Abstract” features 61 pieces of art by 13 local abstract artists. Contributed photo / West Acres

Local abstract artist and former marketing director at West Acres Carol Schlossman is one of the 13 regional artists currently showcasing work where six million people shop each year. It’s an experience she said perfectly connects artists with the community.

“West Acres is the perfect place to connect artists and their work. With six million visitors a year, our community gets to experience original work they may not always have an opportunity to otherwise,” she said. “It uplifts all.”

Artists exhibiting are members of the Plains School of Abstract Painting, a group of emerging and professional artists, which was founded by local artist Marjorie Schlossman. They meet weekly at the Center for Creativity at The Plains Art Museum and collaborate often. 

Artists are: Carmen Bruhn, Renee Danz, Carol Kline, Peggy Mickelson, Naomi Nakamoto, TAP donor Jennifer Paulsrud, TAP partner artist Carol Rogne, TAP partner Carol Schlossman, Mary Schlossman, Gin Templeton, David Twamley, Joette Weible and Rhonda Wilson.

“There are amazing artists in our community whose work deserves being seen by people from all walks of life. Few artists have an opportunity to show their work let alone with multiple pieces at one time,” Schlossman said. 

The exhibit features 61 pieces that serve as an introductory course into the abstract style. Artwork on display features abstraction from realism using line, shapes, color, texture and motion. Schlossman said the pieces were chosen so people get a deeper feel and understanding for each one of these artists’ unique style.

“Like music, abstract art evokes feelings and contemplation. People will relate to each artist and the exhibit’s pieces differently, and their feelings or thoughts will also differ,” she said. “Each artist has a unique style, brush stroke, color development, composition and outcome.  No two original pieces are the same, unlike realistic photography or a portrait.”

Artist Tia Permenter is offering 90-minute painting classes in the exhibition space now through March 26. Contributed photo / Tia Permenter

Painting classes available

Local artist Tia Permenter is currently hosting weekly self-paced, 90-minute painting classes in the space, as well. Session days and times vary, and run through March 26 at a cost of $25 per person. All materials will be included and participants get to take their work home with them when they’re finished.

See class schedule and purchase class spots here: https://tiapermenter.work/painting-classes. Drop-ins are welcome.

Stay up to date on all happenings at West Acres Mall on their website: https://westacres.com/.

About the author

Lonna Whiting is a freelance writer and owner of lonna.co, a content marketing and communications agency located in Fargo, North Dakota. She is a frequent contributor to The Arts Partnership’s content library and also provides strategic communications consultation to the organization.




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