Scents to Scenes | Cheryl LeClair-Sommer

Scents to Scenes | Cheryl LeClair-Sommer

Kolman & Reeb Gallery is pleased to announce its next Project Space grantee exhibition, Scents to Scenes, with works painted exclusively for this show.

Plein air artist Cheryl LeClair-Sommer pairs visual and olfactory stimuli to whisk us off to those romantic little hideaways of Minnesota. By pairing essential oils with her expertly painted landscapes, LeClair-Sommer hopes to deeply immerse the viewer into the scene and encompass the entirety of the artist’s experience.

With the resources provided by a Kolman & Reeb Gallery Project Space Grant, LeClair-Sommer used fragrance as a catalyst to search for locations that embodied the properties of those scents. This allowed for the characteristics of each perfume to inspire the mood and help predict the color palette of the work. Scents to Scenes features paintings paired with the corresponding scent, in hopes that the viewer will deeply connect to the location and atmosphere depicted. Gallery patrons will have the opportunity to sample the scents associated with each painting to fully appreciate the experience.

As an example of her concept for the show, in her painting, A Promise of Renewal, LeClair-Sommer set out to visually capture a scene encompassing fragrance notes of both, intensely warm and deeply cool. To accomplish this, in early spring, she searched for a place where the winter snow was stubborn to melt. In her skilled and masterful technique, LeClair-Sommer captured a warm breeze as it swept down the hillside. The intense sun caressed the remnants of winter, snowmelt trickling from beneath; from this came the rich odors of mossy decay as it blended with the light grassy aroma of new life.

"Following the curve of a river, silhouette of a tree, or billowing cloud formation, Cheryl’s work conjures the mood of the place," says Anita Sue Kolman, Kolman & Reeb Gallery co-founder and co-partner. "By pairing the essential oils chosen foreach scene is a real treat. With her Project Space Grant show, Cheryl has brought many beautiful paintings to the gallery space.”

Jodi Reeb, gallery curator and co-partner, comments, "Cheryl’s beautifully captures Minnesota's many seasons and notable places. With her plein air paintings, she's able to summon the feeling of a moment. The softness of Cheryl's palette and the concept of blending scents with her scenes fit well with the gallery's contemporary style."

LeClair-Sommer lives and works in a suburb of St. Paul. To create her plein air paintings she travels throughout Minnesota, the Upper of Peninsula of Michigan, and the Tahoe, California area. Cheryl has been recognized for her paintings with artwork regularly juried into national exhibits, awards at outdoor painting competitions, a Master Circle award from the International Association of Pastel Societies, an award of a two-week residency, and a feature on the television show "MN Original" in 2011.

Gallery Hours:

Saturday, 12pm to 4pm
First Thursday of the month, 5pm to 9pm
And by appointment. 

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