Bruce Tapola

Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College is very excited to announce its first show of the spring season: “Bruce Tapola: The Velvety Cloak of Twilight”

The show will run from January 21 through February 19, 2005. The artist will present a free lecture on his work in Blount Auditorium in Buckman Hall at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 20th. The reception for the show will be held in the gallery from 6 - 8 p.m., Friday January 21st.

Typically, when a finished painting goes into the world it leaves behind all the inspirational source material found in the studio. Tapola, however, strives to maintain this connection and constructs his installations to further the connections between the finished pieces and their roots. His installations provide a kind of laboratory / reading room / meditation space in which to experience the paintings. Staying true to his Indie roots, his work has always been disarming in the way it maintains a kind of dignity and humility. While the installations can be loud and raucous, they are never pretentious and grandiose. The installations retain the artist’s sense of humor as much as his melancholy. They also allow Tapola to continue to explore and investigate alternative paths for his paintings to take, long after they are finished. The Velvety Cloak of Twilight is the most recent extension of Tapola’s ongoing studio practice. He is reveling in the pop moment, searching through the mass media landscape to find these eerie, strange, beautiful moments of epiphany.

Tapola received his BFA from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and went on to receive his MFA from Montana State University in Bozeman. His work has been featured in exhibitions at the Milwaukee Institute of Art, CSPS in Cedar Rapids, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, as well as an unsanctioned show “Convoy” in a rented U-Haul in front of the Walker Art Center. His recent exhibitions include “The 4-Color Pen Show” at Locust Projects in Miami, “New Paintings” at Franklin Artworks in Minneapolis, as well as “I’m with Stupid,” a collaborative installation he did with his wife, Melba Price, and his daughter, Oakley Tapola at SOOVAC, a non-profit alternative space in Minneapolis. He received the McKnight Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship for 1999/2000. He works as an Assistant Professor at St. Cloud University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.