Mixed media artist Clark Grinde, of Story City, has a selection of his collage and abstract art on display at Shiny Top Brewing in Fort Dodge through April 30.
A financial planner by trade, Grinde started creating art in his spare time about five years ago after a decades-long hiatus. With a degree in history, a head for numbers and measurements and a creative soul, Grinde combines his talents to make pieces that move the eye and the heart simultaneously.
“I scrounge antique shops for the little things that bring back memories for me, and hopefully for other people — things that mean something to us,” he said.
Grinde grew up in Iowa Falls, in a family he describes as low-middle class. He had a strong affinity for art, even as a kid. Although he didn’t see a career path for himself in the art world at the time, he had a strength in the subject, which was reflected in his report cards’ straight A’s in art classes.
He continued pursuing art as a hobby until his early 20s, when he completely stopped.
When he started his art again five years ago, his use of colors and textures immediately involved bold choices, often creating a real sense of depth even in his paint-on-canvas creations.
“I’m attracted to bold, bright paint colors,” he said. Those colors often show up in his collage work as well.
Grinde’s art tends to have themes involving freedom, education, nature, modern art, recreation and history. And beer. His exhibit at the Fort Dodge brewery includes an homage to beer, using bottle caps, bright colors and vintage graphics, among other things.
“It’s important for me to have an emphasis on color and symmetry and flow in my collages like this,” he said.
Grinde’s creative process sometimes results in large pieces, such as his collage “Elementary Days,” which weighs about 30 pounds and uses a variety of media, including a vintage tray puzzle of the United States, phonics cards from the late-1950s or early-‘60s, toy blocks and Scrabble tiles.
“Art enhances our lives,” Grinde said. “Art can bring a lot of joy to our lives.
“I like to try to create things that allow us to slow down our busy lives for a while. I want to evoke memories that remind people of a simpler time.”