Carson Gallery Highlights Biennial Winners

V1 Staff

The latest exhibit at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center features two of the region’s best artists – and that’s not just marketing hyperbole. The two artists whose work is on display at the Janet Carson Gallery through Sept. 29 – Barbara Shafer and Mary Hermanson – were chosen as winners of last year’s Confluence of Art Biennial, a juried show that included works from dozens of artists from across the Upper Midwest. Shafer, known for her large-format paintings of dancers and dried plants, won Best of Show for her work “Anna in the Shadows.” In her artist’s statement, Shafer explained that, “Whatever medium I use, acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, pen and ink, my work mimics my early handling of clay. I build layer upon layer upon layer, searching for form and compositional relationships, proportions, the edge, and the emotional character of the subject.” Meanwhile, fiber artist Hermanson won first place at the last year’s biennial for her kaleidoscopic creation “Susan 1.” “My art comes alive through the use of a fabric palate to create new images,” she says. “These images reflect my love for bright colors and my appreciation for all the beautiful fabrics that enhance my palette.” The exhibit is open to the public 9am-4:30pm Monday-Friday and until 7pm Thursdays. A special meet-the-artists reception will be 5-7pm Thursday, Sept. 14. Learn more at