By Sarah CR Clark
St. Anthony Park resident and artist Regan Golden has hit a new high in her burgeoning career with her first solo museum art show this fall. And her work has been inspired by her local experiences.
“Grow Closer” is a large-scale, multi-media collage installation that was on exhibition at St. Olaf College’s Flaten Art Museum.
The pieces created for Golden’s “Grow Closer” are the result of several processes and mediums including paint, stacked glass, scanners, photography, vinyl, silk and gouache, a kind of reworkable a opaque watercolor paint.
In her artist’s statement, Golden noted that her work is inspired by vanishing urban forests, locally, the Kasota Ponds-Bridal Veil wetland.
“My process is informed by the fragmentation of the site itself: I cut apart my horizontal landscape photographs of the site and mash these together with vertical botanical images I create from collected plants. My images are about the resilience of this urban forest, as well as its fragility and dissipation.”
Golden’s show at St. Olaf is her latest art success, concluding in early December. Her artwork has been shown nationally and internationally, including Gallery 44 Center for Contemporary Photography (Toronto); Gallery 400 (Chicago); The Cue Foundation (NYC); and the Rochester Art Center.
Growing up in St. Anthony Park, Golden fondly recalled building forts and playing in the woods along the railroad tracks, and in both Langford and College Parks. Golden credits a childhood playing in the trees for inspiring her interest in urban nature.
Another source of inspiration for the pieces in “Grow Closer” was time spent at home with her two children.
“The technique I developed for the art in the show was due to the fact that I was home, full-time, as a parent for almost three years and I still needed a way to continue being an artist, making work on a really large scale about landscape.”
Golden experienced several limitations while creating art during the pandemic. They included small working spaces, limited materials on hand and a family to care for.
However, she explained, “Without those unique constraints, I don’t think I would have pioneered this process, using techniques of early photography in the same horizontal surface with newer, cutting-edge, high resolution photography.”
Jane Becker Nelson, curator of the Flaten Art Museum, said in a statement, “Golden’s immersive large-scale collages in ‘Grow Closer’ are a progression through the four seasons, cultivating an awareness of the landscape from the perspective of a gardener, parent, citizen, teacher and artist.”
Currently, Golden is an assistant professor at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Previously, she taught at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Art from 2016 to 2021 and was the artist in residence from 2017 to 2018 at the College of Biological Sciences Conservancy.
She graduated from Central High School in 1996, earned a B.A. in studio art and American history in 2000 from Grinnell College in Iowa and a master’s in fine art in painting and drawing from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2006. After living in Houston and San Francisco, she returned to St. Paul in 2013.
Golden and her husband Jeremy Lundquist, a printmaker and art teacher, share a studio in the Casket Arts Building in northeast Minneapolis.
During the growing season, Golden is an active participant at the Community Garden and has served on District 12 Community Council’s Land Use Committee for three years, chairing it for the past year.
Sarah CR Clark lives in St. Anthony Park and is a regular freelance writer for the Bugle.