Exploring Isolation and Finding Mindfulness by Painting through the Pandemic

April 16 – June 5, 2022

MARN was excited to present “Me and the Mountain” – Exploring Isolation and Finding Mindfulness by Painting through the Pandemic – an exhibition that ran from April 16 to June 5, 2022 at the MARN ART + CULTURE HUB. The exhibition featured an immersive installation of local artist Daniel Fleming’s “Pandemic Painting Series”. 

“Me and the Mountain” showcased 38 expressive paintings, encapsulating an introspective meditation of Fleming’s journey of living within the COVID-19 pandemic. Fleming’s “Pandemic Paintings” series (100 works and counting!) documents the artist’s free-flowing stream of consciousness. Like diary entries, each painting is a response to the ongoing, unfolding, and uncontrollable situations endured. In Fleming’s words, he approached each painting “as one might scribble their thoughts in a private book without notation or concern for a connecting thread. . . a rapid-fire expression of impulse, anxieties, and ongoing attempts at understanding as each day passes.” 

The public was invited to walk amongst unstretched paintings strung across the gallery, mimicking the chaos and confined feelings Fleming experienced over the course of 2020 to 2022 in his small studio. Traditionally hung, stretched paintings surrounded the installation in the perimeter of the gallery, alluding to the calm within the uncontrollable storm. 

The “Me and the Mountain” was selected through MARN’s March 2022 Request for Exhibition Proposals, an exhibition funded in part by the gracious donation of Kathy Mykleby. This exhibition was MARN’s first solo exhibition within the MARN ART + CULTURE HUB.  

More About the Artist:  

Daniel Fleming grew up in Rochester Minnesota and attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design from 2006-2010, graduating with a major in Communication Design and a concentration in painting. Despite his academic design background and career, he has consistently taken part in the art community both local and nationwide, with a few artworks traveling internationally. He has been represented by various galleries throughout the years, taken part in countless shows, and continues to create and develop projects daily. Throughout the last 10 years he has created over 1000 paintings and individual artworks. Fleming currently works with Scout Gallery in Milwaukee.

During the exhibition, MARN hosted the following exhibition focused events: 

Opening Reception

April 16, 2022

MARN invited the public to the opening night of “Me and the Mountain” at the MARN ART + CULTURE HUB. During the event, local Alternative R&B Singer Felix Ramsey performed, which was followed by remarks from the exhibiting artist.

Gallery Night & Day at the MARN ART + CULTURE HUB

April 22 & 23, 2022

Gallery Night (Friday April 23) featured live music by local musician Nathan Mayfield of “Jazzmen” and a free block-printing workshop with linocuts inspired by the exhibited works within “Me and the Mountain”. 

Visual Journal Making Workshop

May 13, 2022 

This workshop was led by exhibiting artist Daniel Fleming and local printmaker Madison Dawne within the MARN ART + CULTURE HUB’s Conference Center. 

The workshop covered book-making basics including pamphlet stitches and zines, how individualized journals can offer the opportunity to make a personal keepsake and be used as a creative outlet, and introduced three prompts for kicking off an introspective diary. Participants walked away with three new handmade journals, how-to sheets for the book-making techniques, and new approaches to beginning a visual journal page! 

Live Painting by Daniel Fleming

May 14 & 28, 2022

The public was invited to experience exhibiting artist, Daniel Fleming, paint live at the MARN ART + CULTURE HUB for three hours May 14 and May 28. During the event, Fleming showcased his artistic process in developing his large scale acrylic paintings as well as his sketchbooks and smaller stretched works. The paintings developed during the live painting sessions were a continuation of Fleming’s “Pandemic Paintings” series displayed within the “Me and the Mountain” exhibition.