This week, we remember artist Charles Thysell.
Top, Charles surprises James O'Rourke at the 29th Midwestern with a portrait titled "Damn Artists" [image courtesy T. Hunter Strand]; bottom, left to right, "Untitled" oil on paper; "Fortuna" linocut; "L." linocut.
Charles A. Thysell was born in 1950 and spent his childhood in Hawley, MN. He lived in Moorhead, MN from 1960 to 1968, during which time he became a regular at Rourke Gallery. He spent the following several years in Minneapolis, MN, returning to live in Fargo, ND in 1975.
During his Fargo years, he worked as a curator for the Plains Art Museum/O’Rourke Art Gallery Museum at the Fargo Galleries, was instrumental in the beginnings of the Creative Arts Studio where he was employed for three years, traveled the state of North Dakota as one of the founding members of Plain People Children’s Theater, and, in 1984, received the first individual artist grant ever awarded by state. He returned to live and make art in Minneapolis in 1987. Charles passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by friends, this past week after a prolonged battle with cancer.
Charles is remembered by his friends in the article "'He finds the common heart' ..." by Forum features writer, John Lamb:
"People will think of his life more than his art. A big shining light, steadfast, uncompromising, honest and true." (Keri Pickett)
"He just didn't seem to have the burden of expectations the rest of us are burdened with. He was an infectious guy, one of the most engaging people I've run across. He just had a way of willing an idea down to its essence." (Ronald H.L.M. Ramsay)