Other Worldly

Liberty Arts contemporary fine arts gallery in Yreka is proud to have hosted an opening reception for Other Worldly on Friday, March 18th, 2022, from 5 pm to 8 pm. Thank you to everyone that attended!

This latest exhibition exploring the surreal, biological worlds of artists Micah Ofstedahl and Robert Steven Connett will run through April 22nd. 

Both artists share a similar vision and longtime fascination with the mysterious life-forms and patterns, seen and unseen, on our planet. They push that reality further into surreality. The pair leave us in awe of the complexity and beauty of nature around us, within us, and lead us to ponder our inextricable connection with it all. 

Meet the Artists.

Micah Ofstedahl was born March 18, 1982, and celebrated his 40th year of life with the opening reception of Other Worldly. Born and raised in Austin, Minnesota, he began as an artist asking his parents for the white-out when he went outside the lines in his coloring books. While he still strives to perfect his creations, currently, Micah has obliterated “the lines” and created entire new universes for us to revel in. 

“I believe having a deep awareness of nature gives us an appreciation for life, it makes us wonder, it inspires, and allows us to think beyond the reality that’s immediately in front of us,” explains Ofstedahl. 

After graduating from Minnesota State U, Mankato with a BFA focusing on sculpture and ceramics, Micah moved out west. While living in Santa Cruz, Ca, he came across the book Grey’s Anatomy. He was particularly drawn to the less recognizable images such as those at the cellular level or cross-sections of bone. Later he was introduced to Ernst Haeckel and his 19th-century illustrations of radiolarians and other strange and beautiful life-forms. This took Micah’s inspiration beyond anatomy and opened the door to other biological forms.

“There are the components of biology and science that are still on the edge of exploration, from the neurons in our brains to the fabric of the universe,” Micah said. 

Ofstedahl’s work has been exhibited internationally and nationally, with exhibitions in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Oregon, California, New York, Washington, Minnesota, and New Mexico. He is currently based in Ashland, Oregon, where he continues creating the paintings he calls, “somewhere between reality and mystery.”

While Other Worldly is predominantly a solo exhibition featuring the contemporary work of Micah Ofstedahl, we are delighted to feature a special viewing of Robert Steven Connett’s SPACE PLANKTON v1. This newly-released crypto art is on loan courtesy of the artist and consists of an animated version of his painting, SPACE PLANKTON, set to music for our viewing pleasure. 

Like Ofstedahl, Robert Connett was enthralled by nature as a child and continues this passion by rendering beautifully imagined organisms based on studies from his own collection of specimens, books of scientific illustrations, and the wonders of life all around. These imaginative portraits of flora and fauna, particularly of oceanic origins are executed with microscopic detail.

Born in San Francisco, California, on August 19, 1951, Robert began drawing and painting as a child. Formerly an insurance broker, Connett hit a crossroads in his life in 1995, when his home burnt down along with all his possessions. He began to make a shift to painting full-time, which he would start in 1998. He says, “It took me almost 10 years of painting every day to sell my first piece, and 20 years to narrowly make a living at it. My wife helped support us financially during these years. I am forever grateful to her for enriching our lives through self-sacrifice, determination, and love. A debt I try to repay every day”.

Connett is a determined self-taught artist currently based in Los Angeles. He has exhibited in shows across the globe and has earned a substantial international following. 

Connett explains that he “creates paintings that show the world as it once was. A world of unlimited biodiversity. I am inspired to paint by my love of our world. My imaginary ecosystems are bursting with an extraordinary life. I hope that my paintings might delight the viewer and possibly remind us of the beauty we stand to lose.”

Curated by Maureen Williams