Visual Art

Exhibit Explores Artist Vaughter's Grotesque, Tender Sensibilities

Hope Greene, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

“Strange Children,” Kim Vaughter’s exhibition at Janet Carson Gallery, delivers on its title. In the show, Vaughter continues her ongoing work with odd, strangely proportioned, symbolically constructed characters. The seven large acrylic paintings are chock full of exuberantly, innocently grotesque figures, a tender biology of forms interacting with undulating shards of context. The 13 small fabric sculptures are portraits of not-quite-animal not-quite-alien creatures, sweetly enthusiastic in their pathos. The brightly colored pieces are a kaleidoscope of personal and cultural references, subtle contacts and blunt realignment. Though the work is obviously carefully and cleverly thought out, Vaughter’s artist statement deliberately gives no clues about interpretation, reading, “I have deep connections with what I paint, but I do not want that to be where the viewer looks for the meaning of the art. … The viewer cannot be wrong about what they see in my art.” She steps back, inviting you to step up to her squirming smorgasbord of archetypal ingredients, add your own memories, and cook up something deliciously strange.

“Strange Children,” an exhibition of work by Kim Vaughter • 9am-4:30pm Monday-Friday, 9am-7pm Thursday • through Nov. 10 • Janet Carson Gallery, Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, 316 Eau Claire St., Eau Claire • • 715-832-ARTS