Jan 22, 2006

Artlink - Downtown Landmarks

By Eric Olsen

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 15, 2007 at 4:53 AM EDT

Many of us pass by them everyday and seldom look at them. You'll see it all differently after tonight.

They're more than just brick and mortar, they're the building blocks of a downtown, the players in a skyline that welcomes the traveler home, and bids farewell when he leaves.

Seeing the familiar through unfamiliar eyes is the concept behind the new exhibit at Fort Wayne's Artlink Gallery. 'Downtown Landmarks' takes the visual experiences we encounter daily navigating through Fort Wayne and reinterprets them, with the areas finest artists as guides. The Allen County Courthouse appears to receive divine blessing in Laurence Huff's spectacular photograph. While Fort Wayne painter Kat Rohrbacher's courthouse vision is on a more human scale, devoid of divine justice. Churches provide plenty of artistic inspiration in this city of churches. Nancy Longmates pastels add sentimental character to St. Paul's Lutheran Church, while Diana Fair's pencil drawing finds joy in St. Paul's architectural detail. You can't talk downtown Fort Wayne and leave out Cindy's Diner and the little eatery is well represented here, right down to its food serving essence.

The Grand Wayne Center expansion gets several treatments; Gwen Gutweins is brightly wrapped in festive colors while computer artist Carol Mauch's is more fortress like, with Anthony Wayne himself astride his horse, guarding the parapets. In fact Anthony's everywhere in this show, in Richard Tucks ceramic bowl, and Karen Moriarty's fabulous oil painting of Freimann Square. You can't spend time with these pieces without being changed by them. Here the architecture we take for granted gets the respect it deserves, and old friends no longer part of our skyline are properly mourned. This is a family album after all, with grumpy grandfathers and new kids on the block; all crying out for our attention, and always calling us home at the end of the day.

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