Art beat: It runs in the family

It runs in the family

A photographer and his painter daughter collaborate

STEVENS SQUARE — Speculating on the possible genetic origins for the artistic talents of his daughter, the painter Kara Hendershot, Joe Hendershot mentioned his uncle, who was a professional artist, as well Kara’s maternal grandfather.

It went without mentioning that, of course, Joe, a photographer, likely had a good number of his own creative genes in the mix. That was the hook when the father-daughter duo entered their first collaborative pieces in “Creative Blood,” an exhibition of intergenerational artists at the Northeast gallery Altered Esthetics in 2009.

Now, for the first time since then, both Hendershots are sharing the same canvas again. Joe’s black-and-white photographs of urban street scenes and industrial ruins — many shot in the ’70s in Detroit, Chicago and Toronto, as well as some of more recent vintage shot in St. Paul — are elaborated upon by Kara, who extends the images in paint and, where she senses hints of a story, fills out the narrative.

“We probably looked at 30 or 40 prints to choose the ones [for this show], and then I shot some more,” Joe explained. “Kara kind of says, ‘I want to work with that, or that or that.’”

Added Kara: “I wanted to pick (photographs) where I knew I could change it into something. As opposed to just adding to the image, I wanted to add another thing that’s going on.”

One piece begins with a decades-old photograph Joe snapped of an elderly Toronto couple, arm in arm, approaching the massive doors of an old stone church. With her painting, Kara extends the broad steps leading to the door down and out of the photograph’s frame. A boy and a girl sit together at the bottom — the couple, maybe, at the start of their journey.

“I look into the photo and start thinking,” Kara said. “I think about the person in the photo and the mood of the photo and, maybe, what would add to the story that’s already in there.”

At other times, it’s her father’s compositions that inspire Kara.

One of Joe’s photographs frames the mist-shrouded view of an old St. Paul factory in the tangled branches of some river trees. Kara seamlessly extends their trunks and limbs with paint, adding touches of pink and red paint to the cool grays.

The process melds documentary and fantasy. The father begins to tell a story and his daughter finishes it.


Go see it
“Moments Extended: A Father and Daughter Collaboration in Mixed Media by Joe Hendershot and Kara Hendershot” runs through July 10 at Stevens Square Center for the Arts, 1905 Third Ave. S. 879-0200. stevensarts.org

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Up-and-coming: Prints from Jerome residents

THE WEDGE — John Hunter, Justin Sehorn and Rose Sexton are the latest trio of artists to complete the nine-month Jerome Emerging Printmakers Residency at Highpoint Center for Printmaking and, as usual, the results are three tightly focused portfolios of new work.

Hunter, a Korean-American adoptee who grew up in a mostly white Boston suburb, has more recently lived in traveled in Japan. That experience informs a series of screen prints of moths and caterpillars (maybe silk worms?) crawling on what appear to be Tokyo subway maps.

The bugs perch on the train lines like branches. They are drawn in a slick, buoyant style, as if they just crawled out of some Japanese anime.

One senses a kind of techno-mysticism in Sehorn’s screen prints, embellished with what appears to be paint or crayon. “The Grail Series,” which includes four prints, plays on the Christian myth of the Holy Grail as well as the occult significance of the cup, a tarot symbol. Four chalices appear in each print, and while they remain static Sehorn’s embellishments flash around them like neon signs.

Sexton employs power tools to make her large, visceral, black-on-red woodblock prints of animals, including a snared and snarling wolf, a pair of road-kill deer and two sides of beef displayed in a diptych.

In her artist’s statement for the exhibition, Sexton writes that she sees an animal’s often-brutal existence ­— one less illuminated by intelligence than the human experience — as a metaphor for the artist’s blind search for meaning in the world. Something tempers the inherent violence of these images — they could be repulsive, but instead draw you in — and that says something of the power of her vision.


Go see it
The Jerome Emerging Printmakers Residency exhibition runs through July 2 at Highpoint Center for Printmaking, 912 W. Lake St. 871-1326. highpointprintmaking.org