A Rewarding Challenge

By: Daniel Knoedler, multimedia specialist/graphic designer on July 3rd, 2024

The summer months are a busy time at the Woodson Art Museum as we gear up for another Birds in Art opening. One of the main items I’m tasked with is designing and executing the Birds in Art catalogue along with Collections and Project Manager, Holly Van Eperen, and the rest of the staff. For me, the most exciting part of the project is the Master Artist portion of the catalogue. Trying to represent the work of this year’s Master Artist, Gunnar Tryggmo, in the best way possible has been an extremely rewarding challenge.

Watercolor painting of two shelducks sleeping in the sun

Gunnar Tryggmo, In the Sun, 2021, watercolor on Arches paper

Although Tryggmo occasionally works in oil paint, most of his work utilizes watercolor as he creates a delicate balance between realism and gestural representation to bring a scene to life. Watercolor is also the main medium I use in my own artistic practice, so I was thrilled to have the chance to arrange Gunnar’s artwork on the pages of the Master essay as well as draw inspiration from his work for other design details throughout the catalogue. I feel confident that the final product will be something Museum patrons will enjoy.

watercolor painting of a group of Avocets wading in showing water

Gunnar Tryggmo, Balance, 2019, watercolor on Arches paper

My confidence in the catalogue’s end result doesn’t come from sitting at my desk and moving things around the computer screen. Working closely with Holly Van Eperen and the team at Reindl Printing, who produce the book, for the second time helps make catalogue creation run smoothly and makes the collaborative process even more rewarding. I have learned a lot from everyone involved and appreciate the support and encouragement I’ve gotten to push, shape, and execute my ideas into something that I think readers of this year’s catalogue will appreciate.

Watercolor painting of two seagulls on a grey day

Gunnar tryggmo, A Grey Day, 2014, watercolor on Arches paper

The entire Museum staff has been working hard to make sure that this year’s exhibit, opening weekend, and accompanying programs are something everyone can enjoy and be proud of. To me, the collaborative planning and execution it takes to make something like this come together is the best part of any job. I think we all feel lucky to have the chance to use our skills and passion to carry on the tradition of Birds in Art and hope that the exhibition continues to help grow the creative culture blossoming in our community.


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