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Pen&Ink Possibilities: Drawing outside the lines

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By Kirsten Laskey

What constitutes a work of art? Should all art fit within the limits of whatever definition Webster’s Dictionary assigns the word or should it venture outside the lines in favor of multiple meanings?

Wandering through the newest exhibit at the Mesa Public Library, it seems clear that art defies a single definition. If something or someone is valued so highly and made immortal through paint, clay or any other medium, so in order that it can be shared with the rest of the world, then the work is worthy of the term art.

The featured artist at the library, Nels Krakowski, pays tribute to people and things that appear to be meaningful to him; and as a result, makes numerous works of art. There are paintings of snow-covered trees, mountains, rainbows and the American flag.

These are everyday, ordinary sights that sometimes get taken for granted, and yet Krakowski takes them out of their ordinary surroundings to shine the spotlight on his favorite things. A green tree is set against a sunshine yellow background while a white flower springs up from a fire-engine red backdrop.

These unusual settings make the viewer stop and take a closer a look at the everyday beauty that can be so easily ignored.


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