After taking a college course on women's studies, local artist Michele Skogrand was inspired to create a new theme of artwork.
Skogrand's art will be on display through June 29 at the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council's art gallery at 114 North 3rd Street in downtown Marshall.
Skogrand, who is from Watson, said she's enjoyed drawing ever since she was a child.
"I studied art and psychology in college," Skogrand said. She attended college at St. Olaf, Southwest Minnesota State University and the University of Minnesota Morris.
Skogrand said not a lot of people have seen her newer works that are featured in the SMAHC exhibit. She had received an Individual Artist grant from SMAHC in February 2011 to explore images of women using Jungian archetypes as well as popular modern stereotypes using mixed media collage.
"One person's comments was I put a lot of emotion into my painting," Skogrand said.
According to her artist statement for SMAHC, Skogrand said that after taking a women's studies class, she was interested by how often Christianity adopted imagery from pre-Christian or pagan religions.
"I explore some of these images in my artwork from ancient mother goddesses to modern stereotypes," she said.
For example, the story of Jesus and his mother, Mary, is similar to the story of Isis and Horus in Egypt.
"I work with modern seductress images all the way to cave paintings, all with a focus on feminine imagery," she said in her artist statement. "Some times the image of the feminine is obvious, but other times it is more subtle." Images of women is the overall theme of the exhibit.
In one of her works, "The Three Fairies," Skogrand said she took a very light and delicate approach to the image of women as Mother Earth and the gentle force behind creation.
"In other paintings, I focused on typical women's tasks, like sewing, cooking and homemaking," she said in her artist statement. "I also looked at some negative images like the seductress in 'The Scarlet Letter.'"
Skogrand said she tries to make her compositions interesting. Spray paint, screens, see through materials and splatters intrigue her, she added.
"I like to work with many layers that play on top of one another and change each other," she said. "I love working with found objects, especially buttons and odd bits of rusty metal. I also enjoy working with sheer fabrics and old lace."