Artists Barb McKinlay and Stephanie Funk will be displaying their work at the Gallery through August.
"What is the city but the people?" This Shakespearean remark encompasses the routines, relationships, obligations, interests and resources of city dwellers. With those elements in mind, Funke compiled up close views of the forms and functions of urban enters as well as the art, architecture and daily affairs of their residents. In a panoramic shot of downtown Des Moines, one notices the scope and skyline of this Midwestern capital city. The presence of street art service work, and a quinceaneara and her attendants, as well as members of a national civil-rights organization all represent the diversity and complexity of those residing in any metropolitan area. Further, the more intimate images of tourists, lovers, friends and colleagues serve as authentic and personal portraits of the genuine needs and desires of humankind living in any city throughout the globe.
While acquiring most of her knowledge in photography through personal experience and dedicated mentors, Stephanie Funke has compiled a variety of images; however, landscapes, people and places of the heartland as well as patterns in nature are some of her favorite subjects. Stephanie has been fortunate to her work selected for a number of nationally juried exhibitions, including those by MPLS Photo Center, Maryland Federation of Art and Santa Cruz Art. In the past few years several of her photos have also been recognized in Our Iowa magazine.
art glass Barb McKinlay
Glass isn't often used for painting abstract designs and functional pieces. McKinlay has pushed this further to make paingintgs where the picture is made purely of glass and evokes something more personal- it is an exhibit about people. No one inparticular, anyone you might meet walking down the street; the people inhabiting slices of everyday life. The warmth of melted glass is used to convey their inner warmth, thoughts and vitality. The work explore their faces, their look: When you really look at someone you see beyond the caricature into the very things that make them unique. Beyond all that, the person put into the kin before heat and warmth are applied is different from the one who comes out. Sometimes they go in with a smile and come out with a smirk.
Growing up in a family business, it was natural Barb made a career in sales managements and maketing. She worked for glass companies such as Kosta Boda and Simon Pearce, where training included onsite factory tours and in-depth education about the design and manufacturing processes of products. Barb found inspiration in her professional career meeting and working with creatives of all kinds involved in the enterprise of making commercial success of the work of designers and artists from Europe and the US. When she got the change to blow glass on her own, her creative self was re-awakened a desire to make and sell her own designs. Today, Barb's work can be founds in store, specialty shops, and galleries in the Midwest and throughout the country. Her work has been featured in shows with other regional artists in Iowa and Wisconsin. Barb teaches glass design classes to adults in several Midwest cities and actively paerticipates in a variety of classes and fundraisers for youth groups in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. Barb's functional art is available in department stores, specialty stores in the Midwest including Nelson-Atkins Museum, Hall's of Kansas City and Borsheim's of Omaha.