Exhibit: "Here Now" art by Linda Roesch
Here Now: Artworks by Linda Roesch
Nov. 19, 2020-Jan. 23, 2021
Gallery admission is always free. Open Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
For the last three years, I have had the honor of working through The Arts Center as Artist in Residence with the Jamestown elementary schools. I've gotten to know the students on personal level, and I've been able to watch them grow and improve their skills year after year. Living and working in Jamestown has allowed me to pursue my own artistic projects; from starting a YouTube channel to painting murals across the state. The Arts Center has held true to its mission of serving the youth in our community while providing an environment for artists like me to thrive.
I first came here from South Dakota on a two month residency in February of 2017; I wound up finishing out the spring semester and coming back for most of fall semester as well. I then signed a contract to return for the 2018 – 2019 school year, then agreed to return for one more year, and then one more year again. Though I still have ambitions of leaving the midwest one day, I'm happy to be here, and Jamestown is starting to feel like home.
During my time here, I've been fortunate to travel around North Dakota and beyond during summer breaks from school. One sketchbook, completed in fall of 2020, chronicles my life in Jamestown during the span of just over one year. Perhaps you've seen me sketching around town; at Jonny B's or open mic night; in the park or at the fair; on a street corner or from inside my van to mitigate North Dakota wind and snow. My Jamestown sketchbook is a treasure that I will carry with me forever, and each page sparks a memory of a time and a place, or a moment, that may have little to do with the sketch itself. Though the sketchbooks are personal, the sketches are meant to be shared.
With this in mind, I wanted to recreate some of my sketches as larger works for this show. Most recreations are done with mixed media techniques, combining watercolor, gouache, acrylic paint and oil pastel. Some of the canvases that you'll see are taken directly from my sketchbook, enlarged, and printed on canvas. The original sketches themselves will remain bound in my sketchbooks for all of time.
During my time in Jamestown, I've also completed several commissioned paintings of everything from pet portraits to childhood homes. In summer of 2020, I was commissioned to paint a large mural on The Full Monte Salon. Word of this project that quickly spread throughout the state, and from the positive publicity generated I was able to secure more large scale projects in Jamestown and throughout North Dakota. Watch for more murals popping up in your city next year!
The Arts Center has served as a source of inspiration for my work, with each new gallery exhibit becoming my favorite. But probably the greatest unexpected joy that I've experienced during my time here, has been the happenin' music scene in Jamestown! I've always dreamed of playing good music with a talented band, but until I moved to Jamestown there was no path to realize that dream. The public open mic nights that happen weekly at Babb's and The Vets Club, along with the monthly jams at The Arts Center were my favorite local sketching spots. But I didn't stay in the audience for long… within a few months I'd picked up my bass guitar for the first time in years! Soon I started playing with and learning from other local musicians, and now I spend most of every open mic on stage. I was asked to join a punk band in February, and my bandmates have become some of my best friends in the world.
I've spent a good portion of my life wishing I were somewhere else… loving and caring for family kept me in my hometown in South Dakota for around 20 years longer than I'd planned. Coming to live and work in Jamestown presented the perfect opportunity to remain close enough to "home" in case I needed to go there, but far enough away that I could finally feel like I'd advanced next level adulthood. I've been happy here, content, and even though there are times when I've wished I were with my friends in California; even though I've longed to see the ocean during the cold winter months… I've learned to be more present during my time here, and I've been so thankful that I could be here, now.
The artwork that you will see in the exhibit reflects the progress that I've made, the personal growth that I've experienced, and even the trials that I've overcome during my time here. All works on display were created during the past three years, and all have a Jamestown influence. The subjects and styles are wide ranging, but at the core of each piece lies a great appreciation for an experience and community that I've come to love being a part of. I am grateful for my time here.
You can see more about Linda and her artworks on her website: www.sketchingspot.com
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