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Cabin Time 2: Bogus Lake is more than just an art show

From photography and drawings to hand made backgammon boards, Cabin Time: Bogus Lake brings a strong sense of community to their art show at Nice Gallery.
Underwriting support from:

Artists of Cabin Time

Lauren McCleary (Moscow, ID)
Mary Rothlisberger (Palouse, WA)
Colin McCarthy (Grand Rapids, MI)
Ryan Greaves (Grand Rapids, MI)
Rebecca Green (Grand Rapids, MI)
Jason Rood (Grand Rapids, MI)
Jess Bruggink (Minneapolis, MN)
Ross Bruggink (Minneapolis, MN)
Greg Hennes (Portland, OR/Grand Marais, MN)
Brandon Satterlee (Grand Rapids, MI)
Rand Renfrow (San Marcos, TX)
Derek Street (Grand Rapids, MI)
Laura Newlon (Seattle, WA/Chicago, IL)
Lucy Engelman (Chicago, IL)
Dylan Gunnett (Grand Rapids, MI)
Adam Foster (Grand Rapids, MI)
Carson Brown (Grand Rapids, MI)
Geoffrey Holstad (Grand Rapids, MI)

/Jonathan Stoner

/Jonathan Stoner

Upon walking in the door at 1111 Godfrey 4C, I was met with a face full of bugs. Not actual bugs, but little black pieces of plastic tied to what looked like fishing line. I didn’t know what they were at first, but I wasn’t exactly pleased to be getting ambushed by anything after walking up a flight of stairs into a hot room. However, once I got past the bugs and the crowd of people that stood beyond them, I caught my first glimpse of the wilderness of art on display at opening of Cabin Time 2: Bogus Lake.

Nice Gallery’s Adam Foster says the swarm of bugs is meant to give visitors a taste of what the 18 artists of Cabin Time 2: Bogus Lake constantly experienced in their five days living in a small cabin at Bogus Lake in Grand Marais, Minn.

The first thing that caught my eye after I made my way through the bugs was the skeleton of an actual cabin taking up a large portion of the gallery space. Inside, there was a projector showing a short documentary done by Its Just Nice, the design studio behind Nice Gallery. The documentary is an inspiring look into Cabin Time, featuring breathtaking shots of the scenery surrounding the cabin as well as many clips of the artists working on their various projects.

Due to the negative connotations associated with the word “work,” working may not accurately describe what these artists were doing. In the documentary, the artists appeared to be having far too much fun for it to feel like work, even though the art created clearly had a lot of time and effort put into it. It is refreshing to see this much fun being had all while still creating quality art.

Cabin Time director Geoff Holstad says he started the trip as an excuse to go on vacation but be productive at the same time. Because of how well the first Cabin Time was received, Holstad as well as other core members of Cabin Time were able to continue their adventure of traveling to remote places and being creative as well as forming new friendships.

“By day two, everybody was best friends,” Foster said. “It was probably one of the best weeks I’ve ever had.” The quality of the art on display echoes Foster's statements. Much of the art was created at the camp, and some artists continued to create even more work inspired by their stay at Bogus Lake in the following weeks.

Jason Rood’s collection features a piece titled “Some ironic vegan hipsters vs. animals who don’t share their sense of humor,” which depicts exactly that: a tense human vs. woodland creature standoff with each side pointing large guns at each other. Rood's titles are refreshingly tongue-in-cheek, and the elements of each drawing are intricate and skillful. Emanating from the furry characters of “You can’t shoot the north sky” is some unique celestial imagery that seems to be inspired by the night sky at the camp.  

In addition to the overarching theme of outdoors and camping, there was an infectious sense of community being presented through the art as well as the atmosphere of the jam-packed gallery. Most attendees of the show appeared to be having a good time and on numerous occasions positively exclaimed about the quality of the work. Many of the artists who participated in Cabin Time were on hand and open for conversation.

Bringing together the feeling of community at Cabin Time 2 was the photography on display. Carson Davis Brown’s photographs featured a large square of nine hazy portraits of the participating artists. Each photograph presented one individual, usually blurred by smoke and the sun's rays shining through the woods. The portraits also dispensed a feeling of togetherness with nature.

A set of dual exposure portraits by Ryan Greaves drove home the sense of community with friends and nature. Taken on expired Kodak Plus film, these black and white portraits showed members of Cabin Time 2 juxtaposed with fantastic nature scenery. The simplicity and serenity of these photographs made for a definite highlight of all the art on display.

As I headed toward the exit, I saw one part of the gallery that wasn't part of the Cabin Time exhibit. Just to the left of the door was a large mural with the words "Be nice" painted in all capital letters. Nice is exactly how I felt as I walked away from the opening evening of Cabin Time 2: Bogus Lake, and one can imagine how the the artists of Cabin Time will feel as they continue their roaming expedition to remote destinations.

Cabin Time 2: Bogus Lake will be showing this week Tuesday through Thursday at Nice Gallery from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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