Edward Gorey is not exactly a household name. Parents who have heard of him stray away from reading his twisted children's stories to their kids. But while Gorey's macabre illustrations and Gothic literary style may not appeal to everyone, former St. Louis Park resident and up-and-coming artist Abbie Baldwin feels a connection to his work.
"Not that I'm trying to be him style-wise," Baldwin explained to me, "but I like what he has going on. I gravitate towards darker things. A lot of my work has a dark undertone."
Baldwin, 19, grew up in town and graduated from in 2010. Three months later she was a wide-eyed freshman attending the University of Puget Sound in Washington, trying to figure out what exactly her track might be.
"I always liked drawing but never really thought much about pursuing art until one of my freshman intro to art classes," Baldwin said. "All of a sudden I couldn't think of anything else I'd rather do, so I just started focusing on it more and more."
As the school year progressed, so did Baldwin's talent and portfolio. Pulling ideas from slightly grim memories—childhood trips to caves, midnight attempts at ridding her attic of bats—Baldwin's work contrasts the subject of darkness using a palette of bright colors.
"My focus for my art major will be screen-printing and lithography," Baldwin said. "I like the fact that you can have one image and print out a number of them and do different things with colors and framing."
Baldwin, still young in life and her venture into art, will return to Washington in a little more than a month with a few new pieces, ideas and plans.
"It would be great to be able to do art all of the time but I know realistically that's not an option," she said. "I know that what I do love about art is that it's a creative process. I like the thought of making something and working towards a finished product."
You can see a collection of Baldwin's finished products at (full disclosure: I work at Bean Good) Wednesday at 7 p.m. The artist's reception will include conversation and a live folk music performance by recent St. Louis Park High School grads Karl Conroy and William Cramer.
IF YOU GO
What: Abbie Baldwin reception
Where: Bean Good Cafe, 5101 Minnetonka Blvd.
When: Wednesday, July 13, 7-9 p.m.