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"Paint Punk" Exhibit Shows at Katonah Art Center

The Katonah Art Center hosted its latest exhibit on Saturday, opening its doors to the neglected beauty of the Rust Belt and the paintings portraying it by Jen Clausen.

Clausen, a self-proclaimed “paint punk,” travelled throughout the Rust Belt by bicycle, moving through 2,000 miles of discarded and decrepit scenery. Starting in her hometown of Madison, WIS, and ending in New York City, Clausen biked with her collapsible easel, taking note of what was left behind by more prosperous times.

From broken-down houses to factories seen from a foggy distance, Clausen captured it all despite getting many bumps and bruises along the way. But the trip was more than worth it for her, as it offered her an innovative way to view the country.

 “I like the idea of getting somewhere slowly and paying attention to overlooked things, Clausen noted, “Painting is a slow way of recording something, and biking is a slow way of getting somewhere.”

 The individual sceneries might be what one sees at first, but what can be seen throughout the exhibit is the gravity of the journey itself.

 “The project is just so interesting, it’s very nice, I just feel like as you look through it, you’re travelling through the country with her,” Loren Anderson, the head of the Katonah Art Center, said. “For those of us who don’t get to travel much, it’s our way to see that part of the country.”

 “She looks at something, Monet looked at water lilies, and she’s looking at Detroit. But the artist captures what’s interesting, and puts it forth so others to see it,” says exhibit viewer Campbell McLaren. “That’s what artists do, pick out things you might not notice, and then put it there on the canvas so you can’t help but see what’s there.”

Locals can view the exhibit at the Katonah Art Center for only a few more days, says Anderson, who envisions the paintings will be taken down soon.

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