Mindeli Thinking Outside the Sky

By Pam Dillon, For Cox News Service
Friday, May 20, 2005

When Irving Berlin wrote, "Blue skies/Smiling at me/Nothing but blue skies do I see" in 1929 artists pretty much stuck to that norm.
Enter Mindeli, who was born 47 years later, and that idea has been turned upside down. The youthful Russian-born artist sees the red clay of the earth as an orange-red sky. She made a debut appearance at the Wind Gallery in Centerville two years ago, and she's back for an encore visit this weekend.
"Her art is passionate, attractive and vivid. I like it because the landscapes are so simple and bold, not much detail," said gallery owner Kee Hee Lee. "Her work is even more important, as landscapes make up about 30 percent of the retail market now."
Lee met Mindeli five years ago at an art expo in New York and saw the promise in her works. She bought seven of her paintings before a review in Art World News made Mindeli an overnight sensation.
"I saw the girl with the red sky. Who would have thought of painting a red sky?" Lee said. "At that time she wasn't famous and had small shows. I bought the biggest red sky painting she had because I knew it was going to hit."
The Wind Gallery is featuring 33 original works by Mindeli, the largest one measuring 68 inches by 80 inches. There will be an evening soiree with Mindeli from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the gallery, 7300 Far Hills Ave. Reservations are requested; call 291-4383 early in the day.
In addition, there will be an artist appearance and poster signing open to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
The gallery has a south location at the Cincinnati Mills Mall, and Mindeli will be there from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Her works will be featured through June 30.
Wind Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Mindeli was born in Tbilisi, a region of Georgia, Russia. In 1992 she enrolled in the Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts. After graduation, she moved to the United States to expand her range of cultural themes.

Contact free-lance writer Pamela Dillon by e-mail at Pamdillon@woh.rr.com.
Copyright, 2005, Cox Ohio Publishing. All Rights Reserved.