Art teacher Nathan Stromberg showcases 28 pieces of original artwork in a solo exhibit at Artistry (formerly the Bloomington Theater Center for the Arts). It is titled “Significant Stuff” and it displays 28 collages of recognizable objects of each decade from the 50’s to the 80’s.
“The idea is about how we assign meaning and memory to certain objects – memories that you don’t necessarily have – like why do I look at a 50’s car and feel a certain way about it? It’s something in our American DNA that makes us view these objects as something more than just metal or wood or plastic. They have meaning,” Stromberg explained.
The collection that is displayed in “Significant Stuff” includes collages of decade-epitomizing objects such as the typewriter and , as well as objects that had personal meanings to Stromberg, like a Fisher Price cash register and a pair of Michael Jordan sneakers.
The collages were created from vintage magazines usually from the same decade of the object represented in the piece. After accumulating bins of magazines and researching the specific makes of objects, Stromberg began the process of creating his collages. He started with simple sketches, using gray scale markers to show shadows and reflections. Then he started sticking pieces on, deciding between colors as if he was painting but trying not to overthink each placement. Smaller pieces took about three weeks to put together, whereas larger pieces required about 80-100 hours each.
Stromberg worked on this collection for 18 months. He applied for the exhibit space at Artistry back in 2014, when he and play director Nicholas Freeman visited the building to watch “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and discovered the opening for exhibit space.
Many Minnehaha students and others visited “Significant Stuff” on its opening on March 10. The exhibit runs until May 1.