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March 18, 2013

Two with bamboo: Snoddy, Cressman at Dennos

TRAVERSE CITY — The two latest exhibits at the Dennos Museum Center appear to be very different at first glance, yet they also relate in several ways.

Both artists, Rufus Snoddy and Larry Cressman, not only use natural materials in their work, but were on museum director’s Gene Jenneman’s list of artists he admired and wanted to eventually see in the museum.

“When we booked ‘Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art,’ both of these artists fit with my desire to find a related connection to the bamboo material as medium,” said Jenneman, referring to another current exhibit.

Snoddy’s and Cressman’s exhibits each could stand on their own, but Jenneman believes viewers will enjoy experiencing them together.

Cressman’s exhibit, “Line Work,” uses natural vegetative materials to draw on gallery walls and in 3-D space, Jenneman said.

“His work carries with it the discipline found in the bamboo art, but uses the natural material in a very different way to produce his works of art,” he said.

His “installation drawings” incorporate cane, twigs, paper, graphite, wire and other materials. Much of it floats off the gallery wall or as 3-D constructions that hang from the ceiling and float within the gallery space.

Cressman said he began to experiment by constructing drawings as collections of lines gathered into transparent envelopes.

“I wove lines through holes punctured in paper. Finally, I began to pin lines in gestural compositions directly on gallery walls, creating large line “drawings” that responded to architectural space in which they were placed,” said Cressman, a nationally recognized artist who is a professor at the School of Art & Design and Residential Collage of the University of Michigan.

Snoddy’s exhibit, The Wings of Icarus, will showcase the Traverse City-based artist’s new, previously unseen works.

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