published Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Magical realism: Miki Boni's art at Chattanooga's Gallery 301 meant to be fun

"Stripes and Feathers" by Miki Boni.
"Stripes and Feathers" by Miki Boni.

If You Go

What: "The Art of Magical Realism" featuring works by Miki Boni

When: Through Jan. 28. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon-8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Gallery 301, 1800 E. Main St.

Admission: Free

Phone: 718-2543

Miki Boni's art pieces are meant to be fun and whimsical, like a magical dream.

The 10 pieces she now has on display at Gallery 301 are about the magic of dreams and the places they can take you. There is no political or social commentary hidden in the images, she says, unless you see one.

"I wish I would (work from that standpoint) so I would seem like an intellectual, but I just love magical realism. The stuff you see in dreams," she says.

"I will sit and have deep intellectual conversations with you, but with my paintings, I like to have fun."

The exhibit at Gallery 301 represents a relatively new direction for Boni and one that hasn't been seen by the public, gallery owner/manager Rachel Collins said.

"She is such a talent," Collins said. "She does everything and this exhibit is new to everybody. Nobody has seen it."

The pieces combine her talent as both a painter and a photographer. When she completes a painting, which she has done for more than 30 years, she will photograph the work and add it to her digital library. During her many travels around the world, she has also collected a large number of photographic images.

For her current works, she uses a couple of software programs to pull an image from one or more of the paintings and introduces them into one of her photographs. The result is then printed on archival paper and mounted.

"I like putting together things that don't normally appear in nature," she says. "There is something exciting about doing something in my own realm."

In "Stripes and Feathers," for example, a zebra and an eagle appear to be sharing the sky together, though the eagle is upside down.

If there is a theme among the pieces, Boni says it would be travel.

"I do a good bit of travel and these reflect that. Whether it is flying, sailing, falling, train tracks."

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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