Matt Dehaemers is a thoughtful artist whose work invites you to connect the dots between art and action. A common theme emerges from his growing body of work, a gentle but persistent vision of a future dramatically different from a past.
Just lately, he rallied artists for Project Reclamation, a benefit for the artists and their families who lost homes and studios in the tornado in Joplin this year. Area artists were invited to take storm debris and re-fashion it into art for a Twist and Shout auction with all proceeds going to the recovering arts community. The Leedy-Voulkos gallery in KC and the Spiva Arts Center in Joplin were key players.
The chair at the right is Matt’s work. He started with a child’s damaged chair; its new limbs are twisted, but graceful and sturdy — up to the task of supporting the new growth that has already begun its stretch to the sky.
Unfortunately, someone snatched this up before the live auction had even started. Fortunately, there were plenty of other thoughtful, beautifully wrought expressions of how art can help put a little piece of the world back in order.
I was excited to bring this home. Chari Roberts Peak, the artist, is from Parkville, Mo and has a reputation for turning discarded objects into new forms.
She calls this, “The Good Rises Up.” She scavenged the globe, the painted pieces of a table and the twigs that form the arms from the debris pile.
As I left, I met the people who belonged to the globe – it was a fixture on their desk beginning at the time they became a couple clear through 3 kids. I told them, “I love the globe.” They seemed genuinely glad about that. Soon they hurried away to take advantage of an over-due adult night out.
The Good Rises Up is hanging in the bedroom; I’m calling her Janis Joplin.