Spring Burst: tile, paintings & functional art by J Bracken Rourke
On view 10 May - 9 June in the East Gallery
The Rourke Art Gallery + Museum is pleased to present Spring Burst, an exhibition of tile, paintings, and functional art by J Bracken Rourke in the museum’s East Gallery.
J Bracken Rourke was born in Moorhead, and raised in Fargo and the Detroit Lakes area. He attended Concordia College and graduated in 1989 with a B.A. in Political Science. In the summer of 2000, he started Cotton Lake Tile. His tile and paintings have been displayed in galleries and art fairs throughout the region. Rourke has received numerous awards for his artwork and was featured on HGTV's "That's Clever."
Spring has always been my favorite time of the year. It’s probably our long, cold winters that make those first sunny, warm days stand out even more than summer and fall. The first breaths of those sweet spring breezes along with the green grass and leaves making their first appearance after dormancy makes me come alive as well. Making the first trips back to Cotton Lake at this time of year growing up and as an adult has always been a special, invigorating time.
As I was thinking about what possible names and themes would be a nice fit for this upcoming exhibition, I finally noticed the name was right in my studio, right in front of my eyes. A painting that I had partially finished was in my studio, leaning among others. The painting was aptly named Spring Burst. And just like that: No more brainstorming would be needed.
Spring Burst has had much more significance than just a theme for the exhibition. It is quite personal to me this particular spring after an extended period of personal challenges the last couple of years. Those challenges culminated in a very dire set of medical circumstances. For a time there was much concern if I was ever going to get back to my studio again.
After several months of slow but steady improvement, the time was right beginning in early January to start creating art again. Throwing myself head first into an almost maniacal frenzy of creating was the perfect scenario for my mind and body. There were ideas and concepts that had been floating in my mind ready to come to fruition.
With some new materials and techniques that have made their way into my art, it has been a personal renaissance after a period of personal challenges. Discovering the therapeutic value of creating artwork was a newfound experience for me. With a mix of tile art, functional art, and paintings, there is a perfect cross section of the last few months of work represented here.
I hope those who view my new work can enjoy and see a new season in my life, as well as the new season we find surrounding us.