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East Lansing Art Fest Best in Show: Marjolyn van der Hart

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Painting by Marjolyn van der Hart

 

Going to art festivals is one of my favorite things about the summertime. It was divine intervention that gave us Michiganders a perfect, sunny, 80+ degree weekend to enjoy the 49th annual East Lansing Art Festival.

I typically can tell right away if I'd be interested in stopping at a booth or not at art fairs. In general, I am attracted to artists who use repurposed materials - whether it's a metal squirrel holding onto a precious nut made out of a shiny nut bolt (something I bought last year and saw again from the artist this year) or key racks using vintage doorknobs, I love seeing the creativity and use of old materials.

This year, even in the sweaty Saturday haze, my eye went right to a tent with beautiful collage-like pictures. Upon closer inspection, I saw that these pieces had a whimsical, throwback quality to them.

I met the artist, Marjolyn van der Hart of Toronto, who explained that the pictures were created by layering vintage papers and tissues on top of one another to create a dream-like composition. As she describes in her artist statement:

These paintings are from memory, imagination and suspended moments of my daily life. Like windows in time each image attempts to search for the emotion associated with a particular time and place.

By visiting the galleries on her website, you'll see the layering effect in her work and how it builds a story within each piece.

Among my favorites from the show and on her website at the link are True Love, with a couple embracing while riding bicycles side by side, and Dreams Come True, with an Andy Warhol-like repetition of an image of a couple kissing while holding into a tea cup and saucer.

While we weren't ready to commit to buying a big piece of art at the show this past weekend, I'm hoping that we will contact her soon about some of her pieces.

Of everything I saw this past weekend at the East Lansing Art Festival, Marjolyn's work is what I'm still dreaming of days later.

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