ART HOUNDS: MPR State of the Arts – Laura Stack and Amy Toscani at Rosalux

ART HOUNDS:”Chaos and Control at Rosalux” features Carolyn Swiszcz talking about Laura Stack’s and Amy Toscani’s work in the Rosalux exhibition “Oddities and Curiosities”. Listen to the podcast at

The hounds mark their triumphant return to the radio by celebrating a band from New Jersey that isn’t afraid to raise its voice, a dance concert designed to raise awareness of water and its growing scarcity, and two artists who meld random creativity with intricate artistry.

When artist Carolyn Swiszcz saw “Oddities and Curiosities” at Rosalux Gallery in Minneapolis, all she could think about was getting to work in her own studio. It was that inspiring.

Swiszcz writes:

At the artist talk for their two-person show at Rosalux Gallery, Amy Toscani and Laura Stack both described how playing with materials they can’t control are essential to their art making process.

For Stack, it’s beginning many works on paper with what she calls a “pour” — dripping sepia ink onto large sheets of paper to create puddles edged with alluring rivulets. These become anchors for the masterful “botanical” renderings she collages on top – are they petals? Gray matter?

Toscani’s sculptures are made from cut up plastic storage bins and thrift store finds. They’ve been reassembled into surprisingly formal constructions — she described them as “drawings in space.” Though their work is quite different I took away some overlapping themes — the contrast of man-made vs. natural, and the sense of a powerful force behind growth that is both unsettling and jubilant.