Long Time Passing

 October 14 - November 20

A visual chronicle of farm life in the Midwest, past and present

Midwest farming changes constantly. In our lifetimes there is a shift from small acreage   family farms to two extremes: to both very large and very small farms. The state of Wisconsin alone is losing more than two family farms per day.

These changes in the Midwest landscape— physically and economically— moved artists Roberta Condon and Lorraine Ortner-Blake to present together two series of paintings to focus on the struggles, joys, and challenges of Midwest farm life. The exhibit is titled ”Long Time Passing,” a phrase from a Pete Seeger song.

Mom’s Reminiscences: 26 paintings in gouache by Lorraine Ortner-Blake

Ortner-Blake presents the familial view of life on the farm through her mother’s reminiscences, and the memories of her own childhood on the farm. The intimate and detailed paintings are worked in gouache with a primitive simplicity. The work distorts viewpoint and perspective and the images speak in a warm whisper tracing strong connections within the family and the roles each member took on.

American Pastoral: 26 paintings in soft pastel by Roberta Condon

As a perfect foil to Ortner-Blake’s whisper, Condon’s modern abstract works shout out the stark landscape of the Wisconsin farms and fields, presenting richly vibrant pastels in large contemporary splashes of line and color.

The two women painters—each passionate about their rural history and surrounding — seek to chronicle the past and present, to protect for the future