Illuminating America’s Dairyland: Andy Fletcher at Tory Folliard Gallery

[full disclosure: Andy Fletcher is a personal friend]

His Father’s Farm

Andy Fletcher’s paintings have depicted the rural farms of the mid-west and to me are prime examples of the farming heritage of Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland. His paintings feature big sky, gently rolling fields, well used barns and outbuildings, and the stunning colors of rural Wisconsin. And they invoke a feeling of well-being and nostalgia until that bit of melancholy starts to seep in when you realize the homes and barns shown are past their prime and very possibly not long for this world.

House Divided 3

And this latest collection of paintings has turned a bit darker…not in a sinister sense…but literally darker…as Andy paints more late afternoon to sunset to after dark scenarios. Buildings are in shadow with lights aglow inside and shadows are more apparent and gloomier…not the sharply defined shadows of mid-day…some more akin to a storm about to threaten our stage set. And some of them are no longer actually on the farm, but more likely from the small towns that supported the larger surrounding farming community…the banks, the grocers, the hardware store, the town halls, the places of worship.

Doegnitz Hardware Nocturne

And new to me, a series of ‘portraits’. No, not the men and women of the mid-west but rather their tired and well used means of daily transport…vans and pick-ups and such. Fitting companions to the rural farm and town scenes that they share the space with.

My Sweetheart

Simply beautiful and sensitive work that is impossible not to admire or wonder at…and should prove very touching for anyone who grew up on a farm or in their supporting communities.

Andy’s work will be on display at the Tory Folliard Gallery at 233 N. Milwaukee St, Milwaukee WI…Milwaukee’s Third Ward! For more info and hours click here!

House Divided 1

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