The Saline Area has a strong commitment to the arts. This was exemplified by the two artist receptions on Thursday night for ongoing art shows, overlapping with The Saline Music Series on Ann Arbor Street.
Katherine Daugaard was present at Carrigan Café from 5 to 7 p.m. to talk about her pieces on display there for the month of July. Valerie Mann was at Two Twelve Arts from 7 to 9 p.m. for her collection of watercolors being shown there.
Daugaard is a barista at Carrigan Café. She also works at Saline Picture Frame Company and is a studio assistant to area artist Jill Stafani Wagner. Like many “starving artists,” she has to supplement her income with side jobs so she can do what she loves best.
She has lived most of her life in South Dakota. She has visited the badlands and Mount Rushmore, but has never been to the kitschy tourist destination, Wall Drug. She attended college at South Dakota State University, earning a degree in studio arts with a specialization in animation, sculpture and art history.
She moved to Saline after her boyfriend accepted a job in the area. Daugaard got involved with Two Twelve Arts within a week or two after arriving from South Dakota.
Her works on display at Carrigan include mythological creatures like elves and mermaids. Her painting of a guitar player is a study of movement.
“I tend to fluctuate between if it’s serious pieces or not, but for this show I decided to go with the more whimsical, since there are a lot of children that come into the café,” Daugaard said.
She likes to work in many different mediums, including pastel, carved linoleum block print, ink, marker, charcoal, pastel, colored pencil and watercolor. In some works, she combines different mediums.
“I like to play around,” Daugaard said. “It’s fun to see what different effects can be created through the different mediums.”
She said she has been influenced by classical artists she studied in art history such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. She is particularly inspired by modern artist Andy Goldsworthy.
“I just find it fascinating the work he does, because what he does is he goes out into nature and he makes sculptures out of sticks and leaves and stones and stuff like that,” Daugaard said.
She is also inspired by local artists. She particularly mentioned Wagner, who she works with, and Valerie Mann whose work is on display at Two Twelve Arts for the months of July and August. She finds Mann’s creativity “fascinating.”
Mann’s show, “Observations,” will be the last show at Two Twelve before it closes. She has been involved with Two Twelve from its inception about ten years ago.
Although Mann also works in many mediums, the current show is mostly watercolors. She used this medium to create Midwestern landscapes.
Bob Conradi Is a retired pharmaceutical scientist who has redefined himself as a photographer and journalist. He has lived in Michigan for 36 years and in the Saline area for 10. He enjoys researching and learning about new ideas. Reach him at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @RobertConradi.