MARSHALL - This past year, local artist Cat Abbott has been trying to keep up with her fine arts exhibits, continue growing her design business, Cat de Novo, working at Bagels and Brew and getting ready to become a mother.
"It's been a fun year and a whole lot of crazy," she said.
Abbott will display her works at the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities art gallery from Oct. 6 through Dec. 30.
The pieces are the same colorful, dreamlike, whimsical style she uses, Abbott said, but under an agricultural theme.
"They are all based on sustainable farming in our area," Abbott said.
Abbott is part of a group that is trying to get a food co-op started, so she's met some farmers she's become friends with and has gotten to know their way of life.
"These modern-day philosophers, through their constant hard work and devotion to sustainability, choose to go against the norm and are vastly unknown and underappreciated," she said in her artist statement for the SMAHC exhibit. "I have attempted to convey the beauty, process and hardships of the farmers who are working to preserve the land we live on. I have also been inspired to depict the effect their work has on the consumer, whose health and happiness is greatly influenced by their practices. These works are a small tribute to the power of nature and to the farmers who choose to respect her instead of destroy her."
Abbott said she used recycled materials to create pieces for her upcoming SMAHC exhibit.
"Some of the frames and materials are 'leftovers,'" she said. Abbott said she'll create waste when she creates her artwork. Then at some point, she'll go through her studio and reuse those paper clippings or old paint she has left over and incorporate them into a new work.
As for her other venture, Abbott said Cat de Novo Design focuses on eco-friendly designed goods, such as the cup cozies sold at Bagels and Brew. Some are art pieces geared for children.
"It combines creativity with something that's good for the environment," Abbott said.
Abbott is preparing for two more exhibits in the coming months. This spring, she'll have a show at Gallery 705 in Stroudsburg, Pa., which is run by her mentor, retired Southwest Minnesota State University art professor Ed Evans. She will also have a show in late spring 2012 at the community college in Fergus Falls.