Tangled Up In Hue features Aryn Widule at monthly artist reception

For the entirety of this month, the downtown store allots a space entirely dedicated to Widule’s work

Taylor Reisdorf

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March 25, 2020

Photo by Sam Farley

Tangled Up In Hue hosts monthly receptions that feature the work of a local artist.

The twinkle of string lights gave Tangled Up In Hue a warm white glow, and the flames from a fireplace danced silently in the corner while a live musician’s smooth acoustic melodies flooded the space.

The miscellaneous sweet scents of various homemade candles and soaps enriched customers’ senses as they wandered through the store, sipping hot cider and taking in the colorful work of this month’s featured artist.

This past Friday, Tangled up In Hue hosted its monthly artist reception. These receptions take place year-round. For November, the store is featuring Aryn Widule’s work.

Sarah Hammes Murray, the creative director at Tangled Up In Hue, said the choice to feature Widule was somewhat last minute. Being a long-time friend of Tangled up In Hue owners Jamie Kyser and Erin Klaus, she turned to him after the planned artist “backed out,” Murray said.

“He does great work, and it helps that we know and trust him,” Murray said. “We were thrilled when he said he could do it.”

Klaus met Widule when they were both in their first year of college, Kyser said, and the choice to feature him was not a difficult one. In terms of medium and content, Widule’s work isn’t seen often in Tangled Up In Hue, Kyser said.

“It’s really nice to give an opportunity like this to someone we’ve been so close to for so many years,” Kyser said. “He also makes a lot of social connotations in his work, which is really great, and he uses spray paint, which is something I don’t think many people go to as an art medium.”

To create his wall art, Widule said that he combines different images “that look good together”  using photoshop. He then turns the new image into stencils, and uses spray paint to transfer them onto canvas.

“I’m not very good at drawing stuff, like free-hand things, so I figured out an alternative to that,” Widule said.

Artists who want to be featured but don’t know the owners personally, such as Widule, often approach the store on their own, Kyser said. However, there are still times where Tangled Up In Hue will actively approach artists.

“We participate in a lot of different art fairs and other events around the city and around the state,” Kyser said. “So if we see something exceptional, at that point we hand out our card.”  

While Widule’s wall art is what’s primarily being featured this month, he also makes functioning beverage dispensers out of metal pipes. These can be found in Tangled Up In Hue year-round.

Widule first became interested in making this kind of art during Tangled Up In Hue’s annual Dog Art Show around three years ago. Klaus and Kyser asked him to create something for the show, Widule said.

“My work for the Dog (Art) Show ended up turning out well, I’ve just kept doing it,” Widule said.

Widule is currently in the graduate program at UW-Eau Claire studying English. As a side hobby, he said he creates art because of his passion to create something that is “different” and “funny.”

These aspirations were met, at least for event attendees Amy Schmitz and Jeff McCabe.

Schmitz, who had seen his work featured at the store before, said she enjoys the color schemes and graphic nature of Widule’s work, and said his work is unique.

“Every single piece is its own, it’s not something that’s been duplicated,” Schmitz said. “They all have their own story.”

McCabe said he finds the clean, simple lines aesthetically pleasing and likes the “pop-art” style of Widule’s work. McCabe also enjoys the “tongue-in-cheek” humor, he said.

Widule plans to continue creating this kind of art, he said. His work can be found in Tangled Up In Hue and can be viewed on his Instagram page.