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‘Layers’ reflects personal journey

Allie Kurtz Vogt’s “Around the Table #1” is part of her show at Jundt Art Museum.
Allie Kurtz Vogt’s “Around the Table #1” is part of her show at Jundt Art Museum.

Vogt combines simple images to powerful effect

Allie Kurtz Vogt isn’t so much influenced by the world around her as she is energized by it.

The people she knows, the places she’s been, even the linen tablecloths she remembers from a childhood home in Des Moines, Iowa – they all contribute to the fragments that make up her art.

Vogt’s newest exhibition, titled “Layers,” opens at the Jundt Art Museum on Tuesday, and its individual pieces are typified by vivid color schemes and intricate designs, echoing the patterns that occur in nature, architecture and textiles.

The written statement that accompanies “Layers” is merely a series of words and phrases that exemplify Vogt’s wide range of artistic inspirations: “Catholicism,” “lightning bugs in a jar,” “clothes on hangers,” “order and disorder,” and so on. There’s a profundity to Vogt’s minimalism, and it translates to her work, in which the simplest of images ignite the sharpest of memories.

She says she has been artistically minded since childhood, but it was the encouragement of her parents (she’s the youngest of six kids), as well as her time at the Des Moines Art Center, that solidified her future in the arts. She’s been an art instructor at North Idaho College since 1980.

Vogt’s inspirations are constantly in flux and are too numerous and diverse to really pinpoint. “They’re always changing and intersecting with one another,” she said: One day she might be struck by a Neil Young song, and on another a Gustav Klimt painting might spark something in her.

Vogt says that the idea behind “Layers,” that of one surface building on top of another, helps to explain her methods of organizing and expressing her thoughts. She describes her approach to art as circular rather than linear.

“Every new painting I make is a new exploration,” she said. “Sometimes it leads in a new territory or a new direction. It isn’t finished until there’s that satisfaction of all those layers working together.”

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