Charlie Putnam’s “Personal Space” Explores Safety, Confinement, Escape

    August 24th, 2020

    Submitted Image - Charlie Putnam's Flight Delay
    Submitted Image – Charlie Putnam’s Flight Delay

    September 4-October 31 at the Arts Center of Saint Peter

    SAINT PETER, MINN. – With five additional months of preparation time due to the statewide shutdown that postponed gallery exhibitions, St. Peter artist Charlie Putnam will show more than 50 mixed media pieces in “Personal Space” at the Arts Center of Saint Peter September 4 – October 31, 2020.

    “The idea of ‘personal space’ has certainly morphed,” Putnam says. “What was once a reference to the personal space of a picture plane, becomes a reference to our personal safe spaces that we now use to avoid the deadly virus.”

    The final painting Putnam completed, he says, “…is dedicated to expressing ideas about the opening of our community and the pandemonium that could follow.” The exhibition also includes a series of portraits about being “cooped up indefinitely,” a series of landscapes, and a series of abstract collages “…which maybe are about me taking a rest from my own feelings about being trapped.”

    In lieu of a reception, the public is invited to tune in to Live from the Arts Center of Saint Peter every Thursday 1-2 p.m. on KMSU 89.7FM throughout September and October, when Putnam will share music and discuss topics ranging from his creative process to reflections as a retired art educator.

    “It’s a chance to get more in-depth than the usual quick talk during a reception,” says show host and Arts Center Executive Director Ann Rosenquist Fee, who has interviewed more than 50 local artists, musicians, and writers since launching Live from the Arts Center in August 2019. The show is streaming and archived for two weeks at

    Masks and social distancing are required in the Arts Center’s galleries, which are free and wheelchair-accessible. Gallery hours are Wednesday though Friday 1-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m. The Arts Center’s COVID-19 readiness plan is available upon request.

    Putnam is the recipient of a 2018 McKnight Foundation Mid-Career Artist Grant. This activity is made possible through grants from KMSU Radio and from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.