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Minnesota West to feature artist's presentation on Tuesday

Paintings by James Graham will be featured during an artist's presentation from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at Minnesota West.

WORTHINGTON -- Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington campus, is hosting an artist talk featuring James Graham from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Center for Performing and Fine Arts.

Graham's paintings will be on display and available for purchase the rest of the month. This marks the second artist visit of the school year.

The exhibits are organized by Minnesota West art instructor Leah Gossom and her students.

"It was fun to arrange it and create an interesting space," Gossom said, adding that her students are learning to place art so that it's effective and aesthetically pleasing.

Graham's work is mainly abstract, which Gossom said has made for lively discussions amongst students.

"(Art) work should challenge viewers to look a little bit harder, and abstract (does) that just by the nature," Gossom said.

"Perhaps it's not some-thing that you would have above your couch, (but) there is some complexity to this work," Gossom said. "So far, my students seem to have quite a positive attitude toward abstraction."

One of the challenges of being an artist is the need to be self-critical, while at the same time being confident, Graham stated in an email.

"The work speaks for itself and as for differences from other artists I can only say that it is created by me and not them," he said of his paintings. "In true art, to which I attempt to attain, there is no difference between a landscape and an abstraction other than style."

Graham said it's difficult to pinpoint his favorite part about being an artist because "the exhilarations and frustrations of making art are often one and the same as art is a constant act of creating and destroying -- both of which can be a source enlightenment and heartbreak."

Gossom said her students are looking forward to seeing art that challenges the viewer.

Graham's work is unique because "he sees and understands the complexity and beauty of abstraction," she said.

"(People) should come to see and engage in something unique and interesting," Gossom said, adding it's an opportunity for discussion and discourse.