The work of three southern Minnesota artists, one of them a high school student, is now on display at the Paradise Center for the Arts.

The exhibition runs through Sept. 30, and opening reception is from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16.

Featured in the Carlander Family Gallery is the work of Reid Thorpe, of Chaska. The Lois Vranesh Boardroom Gallery highlights artist Karen LeQuia, and in the Corey Lyn Creger Memorial Gallery are works from Sophie Baumgartner

Thorpe says his philosophy of creating art branches from a solid foundation in aesthetics, the study and exploration of beauty.

"I use the elements of color and line to create tension and harmony within my work, discovering the balance of beauty and interest that each work demands. Through this process, I strive to capture the beauty and intention within each scene I paint," he said.

"My current work explores the concept or feeling of nostalgia within fragmented landscapes using reflection – and the interplay between sky and water. I use reflections of water and fragments of sky to create juxtaposition within the work. I exaggerate the mosaic in negative spaces in contrast with the smooth quality of water. Whether walking outdoors alone or with my family, I search for these views through trees featuring colors, sky and reflection."

LeQuia's art form is called Sumi-e which is an ancient Asian brush art. True Sumi-e traditionalists will tell you that the primary colors to Sumi-e are black and white. LeQuia believes that the main idea is to try and capture the spirit or essence of the subject matter. LeQuia puts an American and contemporary twist into her paintings – an idea of Asian art, American heart.

She tells people, "The moment I picked up a brush, and experienced the life of the ink on rice paper – I was hooked."

In spring 2008, she was one of the artists selected to participate in the ‘Art in the sky’ project commissioned by the Rochester Downtown Alliance. The ‘Art in the sky project’ was a project for artists to paint various skyways in downtown Rochester. She was awarded an entire skyway with her theme of ‘Walking through a bamboo forest’ and won the popular vote for the best skyway.

Baumgartner is a high school student.

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy

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