Downtown Art

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May 24, 2004 // UPDATED 1:40 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

'Cell Division'

A wistful landscape painting of a wooded path hung in the living room at my childhood home for years -- until a mishap with a ball knocked the antique picture from its long-time spot, cracking the gold frame and the glass that sheltered the image for over a century. The print had been salvaged from the musty attic of the old house my family lived in.

The painting has been absent from its designated spot for years now (my family's never been very good at replacing things), but I still remember the 19th-century portrait clearly. Mounted and framed by an egg-shaped border, the moody image reflected a melancholy idyll -- a romanticized moment of reflection that transcended but grew out of the fir-laced warren.

Candace Eisenfeld paints landscapes of rivers, roads and forests in the same style. Having studied art and ancient history, we can see Eisenfeld's penchant for nostalgia in her meditative departures and entries. All of these serpentine passages are quaintly centered. Although drearily painted, she drenches them with sepia, hinting at a spiritual element -- as they glow with a low-light sunset/sunrise ambience.

Similar to my memory of an ex-household painting, Eisenfeld frames her panoramas, inspired by 19th Century British paintings, with double oval frames. One is appropriately titled "Cell Division," referring to the duplicity of time -- illustrating that her vision of the past gives birth to her image of the present.

Paradise never was lost. With a brush that may have been dipped in a shade of "divinity," one wonders if Eisenfeld discovered her muse while browsing through dusty treasures in the attic.

Through June 4, Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Circa Gallery, 1637 Hennepin Ave. S. Free. 332-2386.

Walker Art Center curator knighted

Another Minneapolitan has been knighted (as the artistic directors of Theatre de la Jeune Lune were last year). The Walker Art Center's French-born curator Philippe Vergne received the order of the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres medal from the French Embassy in a ceremony at the Guthrie Theater, 725 Vineland Place, this month. Vergne curated "Let's Entertain" in 2000 and "How Latitudes Become Forms" last year.

Calls for artists

Emerging writers in need of cash may want to check out the SASE: the Write Place guidelines for Jerome grants, now available online at and at SASE's southwest Minneapolis office.

The grants award writers $1,500-$5,000 to pursue any project that'll enhance their career. In the past, writers have been awarded compensation to trace their ancestry, purchase new computers, finance tours, hire an author to read their manuscript, pay for childcare, take time off from work or simply to indulge the creative process. The previous year's winners select the 2004 grantees.

Applications are due Monday, June 14. SASE is located at 711 W. Lake St., Ste. 211 and can be reached at 822-2500.

Do you have moxie? Soo Visual Arts is curating exhibits for Moxie Hair Salon and Gallery, 2649 Lyndale Ave. S. Applications for wall art -- painting, photography and mixed media -- are now being accepted. Shows run six weeks; artists hang and take down their work and handle sales.

E-mail jpegs to with a brief description of the work or send in or drop off 10-20 slides, a resume, an artist's statement and a self-addressed, stamped envelope, to: Attn: Soo at Moxie, Soo Visual Arts Center, 2640 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls, MN 55408.

Application deadline is Tuesday, June 15. For more information, log on to

Anna Pratt can be reached at