Wild Whimsy of the Northwoods
Diamond Knispel, Painter
Artist Reception 5 – 7pm Friday, February 10
Exhibit February 10 – April 28, 2023
The exhibit is meant to show a scene of one spring day in the forest. It begins with early morning and progresses through the day by examining different tableaux as the light changes and different flora and fauna make themselves visible. The pieces are organized in sequential order based on the time of day. Each of these pieces comes with it’s own short story. The stories reflect on the subjects in the pieces but also dig deeper into the artist’s human experiences that informed every paint stroke and color choice.
According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue tourism was a $1.5 billion industry in Northeast and Northwest Minnesota prior to the pandemic. Tourism helps support the economy of Northern Minnesota, but why do so many people visit? Residents of the area know that the reason is the vibrant and abundant forests and lakes. Easily visible to anyone who travels through this area, the forests and lakes are the destination created by the flora and fauna that live here. If it were not for the flora and fauna thriving our economy would not either.
Wild Whimsy of the Northwoods explores the wild world that hangs in balance with the human world but isn’t always visible to people – even those who travel to seek it out. Often things that are not seen are not considered which is why our ditches are filled with both wildflowers and trash. Wild Whimsy of the Northwoods looks past the ditches and into the forests to focus on the wildflowers, pollinators and animals giving credence to the act of looking closer and exploring farther. Done in acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas the lively, colorful, whimsical, body of work looks at one warm spring day and the hidden stories being experienced by the plants and animals in our forests to honor the often unseen and unheard world that surrounds us.
Diamond is an acrylic painter living in LaPorte, Minnesota. Her work features flora and fauna in bright, saturated, lush scenes. She uses her work to explore and work through the emotions of daily life, using each painting to zoom in on a particular critter nestled among botanicals and butterflies as a way to give voice to the wild world. Her postmodern-narrative art aims to make the viewer more curious about the wild world that often goes unnoticed. She says “I want folks to walk away thinking a little bit more about the wild world that surrounds us; to pause and consider cause and effect, and the reciprocal nature of everything.”
An artist and explorer at heart, Diamond has been making a career as an artist for more than a decade with both her personal work and employment and residencies at art organizations around Northern Minnesota. Diamond has been selling art and creating commissions for over a decade.
Diamond, her husband Cassidy and beloved cat Lady Gray live in a patch of forest surrounded by their squirrel and fox neighbors in their as-of-yet unfinished home studio that the duo began constructing together in 2016. Still an avid explorer, Diamond tries to spend as much time as she can in the Northwoods forests, letting the adventures inform her work.
Wild Whimsy of the Northwoods tour around the state of Minnesota is made possible, in part, by a Region 2 Arts Council Individual Artist Grant Award with funding from the McKnight Foundation.