Havre native Maria Rose Wimmer shares “Suburban Whimsy,” a collection of 20 vibrantly colored acrylic ink on canvas paintings through Feb. 2 at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls. Her works summon a playful, vintage illustrative aesthetic and pair seemingly disparate subjects, like dinosaurs and human infants, or giraffes and a globe, setting the stage for multiple narratives.
Light-hearted on the surface, Wimmer’s subject matter evokes a darker undertone, which invites the viewer to consider deeper themes such as isolation, a quest for perfection, and the loss of childhood dreams.
The paintings may appear Surrealist in nature, but rather than looking for inspiration from dreams, Wimmer creates metaphors pulled from real-life experiences including motherhood, death and the predictability of suburban life. By coupling these often heavy topics with playful imagery set against a stark white background, she challenges the viewer to discover their own personal metaphors.
“I want people to go there and find something they connect with. They can find a deeper meaning or can find it charming or whimsical,” says the artist. “Either is fine with me. Hopefully they’ll do both.”
Wimmer, who began formal art training at 13, has worked and lived throughout the West. In 1999 she attended college at Eastern New Mexico University on the Lorraine Schula Scholarship for Art, and later received a bachelor’s from the University of Montana and her master’s degree in art history from the University of Denver.
She moved to Casper, WY, in 2009 and teaches at Casper College and Southern New Hampshire University. Her work has been displayed regionally and nationally, including several group shows and solo exhibitions, and can be found in private collections throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Works by her husband, E.K. Wimmer, are simultaneously on display at Paris Gibson Square in “Path of Destruction,” a collection of collages created within the span of a year.
Learn more about her work at www.mariarosewimmer.com.