Two southwestern Wisconsin artists bring their work to Mount Horeb’s Driftless Historium, where their artistry evokes some of the same themes of nostalgia or found objects that complement the environment of the museum and archives of the Mount Horeb Area Historical Society.
Paintings by Chuck Bauer and mosaics made by Chuck Beckwith will be on display from March 16 through May 14 at the Historium, 100 S. Second St. in Mount Horeb.
Chuck Bauer is drawn to subjects with a domestic or a natural theme, and he uses conventional approaches that convey nostalgia and tranquility. Not afraid of color, Bauer’s early training as an abstract painter still fuels his approach to realistic topics-and lately more experimental ones, too. He seeks solid composition, but also playful and perhaps sometimes unexpected results. In painting, he believes, “you have to balance your thinking: employing not too much or too little; thus, seeking to keep both the painter and the viewer intrigued, excited and entertained.”
Chuck Beckwith has been making mosaic works for many years, and uses a demanding, personal technique he developed. He utilized carefully fitted shards of commercial crockery, found objects such as glass doll eyes, small pieces of decorative jewelry, and images and letters discovered on the reverse side of plates, saucers, etc. Sometimes subtle visual puns and puzzling contradictions result, rewarding careful, patient scrutiny.
Bauer and Beckwith owned The Soap Opera, a popular State Street store in Madison, from 1972 until selling the store in 2016. The couple has been creating art on their Green County farm for decades.
“Bauer & Beckwith: Paintings and Mosaics” will be on exhibit in the Kalscheur Room Gallery of the Driftless Historium, a $1.7 million facility that opened in 2017. The Driftless Historium is the the headquarters, collections and research center and public museum of the Mount Horeb Area Historical Society, which celebrates and preserves the rich human and natural history of Southwestern Dane County’s Driftless Area.