See unique work at Portal Gallery

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By Kirsten Laskey

The work currently hanging on the walls of the Portal Gallery at the Art Center at Fuller Lodge is not typical artwork. It is neither paintings, or weavings but a combination of both.

Producing art that strays outside any conventional definition is right up Maria Jonsson’s alley.

“I just want to be different ... be more specialized,” she said.

For the past five years Jonsson has combined metal work, painting and weaving into one art form. She said most of the materials she uses are recycled. For instance, she said used printing plates become her canvasses and old telephone wire is used as yard. Jonsson said she puts on the telephone wire on her loom, cuts the painted metal sheet and weaves them into wire.

While she has shown her work in past group shows at Fuller Lodge, Jonsson said this is her first solo show at the Art Center.

Jonsson said she was introduced to mixeds-media at college. The college she attended, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, was interested in mix-media. During this time, she used a lot of metal wire and weaving, but moved away from this particular art.

Jonsson returned to it because she likes painting and weaving.

“I just feel like I have more freedom,” she said. “I kind of like the painting and weaving combined ee it just looks good together; it gives the painting more dimension.”

“You’ve got a painting surface as well as a woven surface,” Jonsson added. “It just gives it a different feel.”

Although Jonsson said she has been showing her work at Fuller Lodge off and on for about 10 years, she said she is excited about her solo show. “I just like to get my work out there and see what people think,” she said.

Who knows who will see or buy a piece of art, Jonsson said, adding it’s better than just having it pile up at her home.

Jonsson said she became interested in pursuing art as a career while visiting relatives in Sweden. She went to school in Sweden for a year, concentrating on the arts. After receiving her bachelor’s in the field, Jonsson continued to get her master’s.

Although she is currently taking archeology classes, Jonsson said art will always be a part of her life.

Jonsson’s work will be displayed at the Portal Gallery through June 14. She will host an artist’s reception from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.