Art Exhibit at Southeast Library explores fluidity and movement

“Jellyheads” is the work of University alumni and emerging artist.

Paintings by Noah Czarnecki-Freemans in his Jelly Heads exhibit at Southeast Library in Minneapolis on Saturday, Mar, 25. 2017.

Meagan Lynch

Paintings by Noah Czarnecki-Freeman’s in his Jelly Heads exhibit at Southeast Library in Minneapolis on Saturday, Mar, 25. 2017.

Maddy Folstein

Post-graduation life can launch students all across the world. But Noah Czarnecki-Freeman — a University of Minnesota fine art alumnus — found himself hunkering down just a few blocks from campus at a Dinkytown library.

And no, not The Library Bar — the Southeast Library, a quasi-art gallery, which hosts rotating exhibits every six weeks.

“We’ve had art exhibits here for a number of years,” said Eric Heideman, a librarian at the Southeast Library. “We like it if we can get an artist from Southeast Minneapolis, but it’s not absolutely necessary.”

Showcasing work at the library was kind of like returning home for Czarnecki-Freeman.

“I always loved going to the libraries and looking at the art books and studying, so I think it was a great opportunity,” he said.

Along with allowing Czarnecki-Freeman to display his work in a public space with personal significance, “Jellyheads” is an exhibit that showcases his new artistic developments.

“All the work I created has been made within the last six months or a year,” Czarnecki Freeman said.

A resident at the A-Mill Artist Lofts, Czarnecki-Freeman found out about the opportunity to showcase work at the library from another resident in his building.

The residential community fosters an environment for artistic connection with its shared work spaces.

“There’s a painting studio that’s communal. … It’s been really nice having that space to do oil painting, rather than doing it in your own house,” Czarnecki-Freeman said.

The artist expressed an interest in his form from a young age. Despite persistent doubt and recommendations that he switch fields, Czarnecki-Freeman began his artistic studies at the University.

“I studied drawing and painting … It helped me develop some of my skills and understand color theory and stuff like that,” Czarnecki-Freeman said.

As the title suggests, the work in “Jellyheads” is fluid and humorous.

“I think the work has a lot of movement,” Czarnecki-Freeman said. “I want the viewers to interpret the work. I think it’s very open-ended.”

After visiting the Detroit Institute of Art, Czarnecki-Freeman was inspired by the works of Francis Bacon.

“I created a whole series of work based off of some brush strokes that I saw on Francis Bacon’s canvas,” he said. “It had a lot of energy and movement, and I think that really stuck with me.”

This emphasis on brushstrokes allows Czarnecki-Freeman to better explore fluidity and motion in his work.

“I think that a lot of the brush strokes and the forms that I have are kind of fluid,” he said. “It looks like they’re melting — or maybe it’s a solid or maybe it’s a liquid — like jelly.”

These stylistic components create an interactive, reflective experience for viewers.

“I want people to make their own image or find their own reality in the work, whether they see a landscape or a face or a figure or an object,” Czarnecki-Freeman said.