See saws -- and other unexpected folk art


Art often works to transform the way we look at the world around us. New exhibits at the Mennello Museum of American Folk Art exemplify that principle by turning saw blades into canvases and bits of scrap wood into sculptures.

Beginning June 17, one room will house painted saws and scythes by Florida-based Jacob Kass, who favors scenes of idyllic farms, well-mannered cities and pretty snow fields. The subjects dwell in the early 20th century, evoking Currier and Ives, or a wide-lens version of Norman Rockwell. The blade's shape seems to have influenced the composition of some pieces; for example, on circular-saw blades Kass uses a curved perspective that turns the streetscapes slightly surreal.

A second new exhibit includes primal masks and animals -- whimsical, surreal -- constructed out of found objects. The museum continues to display a room of Earl Cunningham's paintings, with their glowing yellow skies and orange rivers.


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