Summer Doldrums

local illustrators share artwork together

Lindsey Quinnies, photos by Andrea Paulseth

“DON’T PRETEND YOU’RE TALLER, DUDE.” Dieter McCallum (right) and Isaac Ruder pose with some of the work from their show, Summer Doldrums, at the Volume One Gallery.
“DON’T PRETEND YOU’RE TALLER, DUDE.” Dieter McCallum (left) and Isaac Ruder pose with some of the work from their show, Summer Doldrums, at the Volume One Gallery.

Isaac Ruder and Dieter McCallum have both been creating art for as long as they can remember.  While Isaac found himself inspired by American comics and has been drawing since he could hold a pencil, Dieter’s family recalls his early abilities in special comprehension, like the spider he created by folding paper when he was only two-and-a-half years old. The two have come together to create a cohesive art show, their second show together. Entitled Summer Doldrums, the show will hang through the end of August.

Although both Dieter and Isaac have spent their formative years in Eau Claire, their artistic talents have taken them to the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Isaac is a current student, and Dieter will begin there in the fall. Creating art has a special meaning to each of the artists. Dieter shared, “I’ve always disliked convention, so I’m always in pursuit of invention. Art is exciting to me when I’m able to create something I have personally never seen before. I hate feeling like I’m drawing the same old (stuff), but when I make something new via recently discovered technique, new medium, new concept, or whatever, art just feels fun.”

Isaac said, “Art is very personal for me. I create work that speaks to my life experiences, influences and thoughts. The kind of work in the show is not something I could see myself producing professionally, as it is just a testament to my existence and something I do in the evenings for fun.”

While both artists have their own personal styles – Isaac’s approach is more soft, quiet, and technical, while Dieter’s conceptual abstraction has the idea of irony in mind – they both reference a love of and influence from the work of M.C. Escher. Isaac also draws inspiration from the work of Edward Hopper, Edouard Manet, and Kathe Kollwitz. Summer Doldrums feature spieces done in variety of mediums such as charcoal, ink, India ink, and scanned computer-color/edited works.

The artists both have personal hopeful outcomes for the viewers of their show. “In some of the work I want to evoke nostalgia or a sense of quiet.,” Isaac says. “However, I do not want my work to be didactic; I want to leave interpretation to the viewer. Nothing is drawn without purpose though, examining my own self, I can clearly see, relate to and understand what I’ve drawn, but what I’m more interested in is what you take away from the work.”

Dieter said that if he evokes any emotion in the viewers, he will be happy, adding, “The potential meaning of the potentially perceived concepts by the viewers, while still having them open enough, concept-wise anyways, to have more than one potentially obvious interpretation, I hope will allow the viewers to ‘fill in the gaps themselves’ and be emotionally invoked enough to acknowledge the emotionally invoking. I’m not one to infer what goes through people’s minds when they look at the work I do, but if anything more than ‘that’s neat’ goes through their head, I’m content with that.”

Isaac and Dieter hope that this show will amplify their presence in the Chippewa Valley art scene and that as many people get to see their work as possible.

Summer Doldrums will be hanging in the Volume One Gallery, 205 N. Dewey St., until Aug. 31.

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