Rieger's 'Strange Encounters' begins Sunday
WORTHINGTON -- For Bob Rieger, life events are so surreal that he documents them on canvas - with paint, of course.
The avid South Dakota artist will have his collection of "Strange Encounters" shown beginning Sunday at the Nobles County Art Center. An opening session is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m.
Rieger's love for art began as a young child.
"I was always drawing cartoons out of the newspapers," he said. "My mom's friends would ask if they could buy, and there I was selling it to them for $5 or $10 a piece."
Rieger enrolled in South Dakota State University for wildlife biology, but when the courses did not interest him, he fell back onto his passion -- art.
He continued his education at the University of Iowa, where he pursued a double masters of arts degree in sculpture along with drawing and painting
After college, Rieger taught for several years at Northwest Iowa Community College and South Dakota State University. The entrepreneurial spirit he had as a child served him well when he decided to move on from teaching to continue art as a business.
His style of art is primarily abstract and other types, a mesh of abstract and figurative.
"When something drastic happens in life, it pushes me to the abstract," Rieger added. "I'm not satisfied painting a picture that people can recognize because it's not me."
Rieger uses mostly ink and acrylic for painting, but he occasionally throws charcoal and pastel into the mix. Some days, he can complete painting in a matter of minutes. On other occasions, he works on a piece for months.
"If I see something that I need to change, I have to start again," he said. "It's the same painting, but I just need to change one or two things."
During his month-long exhibit at the Nobles County Art Center, Rieger will have several highlight pieces -- or "encounters," as he refers to them -- on display. One of the pieces that stands out in his collection is titled "the aliens encounter with chicken heads." Individuals who peruse the painting will be able to spot the chicken heads amid the splashes of color.
In addition to painting, Rieger will showcase two cast iron sculptures. His sculptures are produced using both Styrofoam molds and Styrofoam-sand molds.
"The sculptures will pick up rocks or anything else in the ground," he explained.
"Strange Encounters" is Rieger's first show in Nobles County. He has previously showcased his works at the Boston Trade Show and at a few galleries in Minneapolis.
After Sunday, Rieger's exhibit will continue through May 30. The art center opens from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony may be reached at 376-7321.