Unique Art Show Shines a Spotlight On—Wait? What?—Rust!


To call artist Dan Frueh a fan of oxidation would be an understatement. He loves him some rust. The rustier, the better. In fact, rust—of all things—has become Frueh’s medium of choice. He’s drawn to the color, texture, and nuance of how it changes over time. Specifically, blue rust. (We didn’t even know that was a thing.)

Dan Frueh, ‘CP Dumpster”, 2019

The Kansas City Art Institute grad owns The Trap Gallery where he often unveils his latest rust-riffic artwork. This Friday the local artist is hosting the LOVE RUST group show, which is billed as a “celebration of oxidation,” says Frueh. We caught up with him to hear more about his oxidation fascination and the event’s ninth anniversary.

Frank Strunk III, 2019

First and foremost—how did you pick rust as your medium? Or did rust pick you?
“A little bit of both. I photographed rust because it was in front of me. The process of photography revealed colors that I didn’t see in the real world. I got hooked on blue rust, which I never would have seen without photography as the middleman.”

Frank Strunk III, 2019

What was the genesis behind your annual LOVE RUST event?
“I met fellow Rustifarian Ann Reckling through the Artist Inc. program. She and I did a dual show at Room 39 in September 2010. As we were breaking it down, she suggested we should do an annual show. I said Hey, I have a gallery!’ 2011 was our first LOVE RUST group show.”

Becky Stevens

What’s on tap this year?
“I have 19 artists (and growing as people are always trying to work their way in) this year. Sculpture, painting, photography, assemblage, taxidermy, fiber, encaustic, you name it.”

Taxidermy? Okay. When you’re not busy getting tetanus shots, what else do you do?
“I’m always up-to-date on my tetanus shots, for sure (occupational hazard). Outside of making art and running the Trap Gallery, I also do carpentry work—in-store for Ikea and outside making custom work for other clients. Art school prepared me to take on anything. I also try to keep up with our 16-year-old daughter.”

Dan Frueh, Merriam Dumpster, 2019

Again, rust? Really?
“Seriously. I could go into how rust is nature trying to reclaim all that humans have done in an attempt to control it, or Newton’s Laws of Thermodynamics, or Chaos Theory. But in the end, I am drawn to rust because it’s where I find beauty in the world.”

Friday, October 18th
6 – 10 p.m.
Trap Gallery, 525 Gillis Street, Kansas City


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