Virtual Exhibit available starting January 27, 2023
In-person in the Brady & Jeanne Foust Gallery January 27 - March 12, 2023
Galleries are free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well as 2 hours before ticketed events and close 1 hour after the start of event. Visit our calendar for exact showtimes.
March 3, 2023 from 5-8 p.m.
Grab a drink at our lobby bar and join us for an evening celebrating the opening of the Tiit Raid exhibition. Experience the exhibit in an intimate setting exploring a vast spread of art ranging from the 1950s when Tiit was in fifth grade to his works from 2022.
Statements and biographies written below are by the individual artists and are published with their permission. The views expressed are their own. Thank you.
1950s - 1980s
The earliest work is from the fifth grade...when I did my first original paintings and when I first day-dreamed about being an artist. This very early work is usually not a part of a mature artist’s retrospective.
Tiit Raid’s artistic journey went from creating small landscapes and still life forms with oil paints from paint by numbers kits to maturing into abstract works of art in college and in his teaching career. Tiit’s artwork was widely known and exhibited. Among some of the prestigious institutions and exhibits to show Tiit Raid’s artwork, Fighting Green was selected for exhibit in the 1966 Walker Art Center Biennial. Through the 70s and 80s, Tiit altered his styles and methods, tailoring his creativity to what interested him at the time.
1990s - 2022
My paintings are acrylic on paper, mounted on wood panels. Each image is built up with many layers of paint and gloss varnish, and 2 to 3 coats of final varnish. Since 1997, after 35 years of doing abstract work, I started painting landscapes based on photographs of the pond and creek area adjacent to our land in Fall Creek, Wisconsin. I’m interested in images that are representational from a distance and become more abstract when viewed intimately. I want to create images that are rich in color and detail. The basic objective, as Robert Hughes wrote, is “to slow up the eye and encourage, beyond the quick look, a slow absorption.”
1940 - 2022
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
“The sun will not rise, or set, without my notice and thanks.” - Winslow Homer
The work in this exhibition ranges from 1953, when Tiit Raid was in the 5th grade, to 2022. Half of the exhibition includes Tiit’s earliest original paintings to a series of paintings based on tree-forms in Putnam Park in 2019. The other half of the exhibition includes work from a long series of paintings based on three small experimental paintings Tiit did some 28 years ago.
Tiit Raid was born in Tartu, Estonia in 1940. He and his family left their homeland in advance of the Russian Army in 1944. The retreating German Army took them to Germany, along with thousands of other Estonians. After the war they lived in the American Sector until immigrating to the United States in 1949.
Raid studied studio art at the University of Minnesota, earning BA and MFA degrees. He taught art at UWEC from 1967-2002.
My basic interest is to create paintings with a lot to look at and to improvise; to spontaneously follow what the paintings process presents.
The world lost one of its kindest and most creative souls on August 28, 2022. Tiit Raid, 81, was born in Tartu, Estonia on December 9, 1940, to Eugen and Luule Raid. His family fled their occupied country during WWII and eventually settled in Minnesota in 1949. Tiit started second grade with no English skills. He never forgot what it was like to be an outsider. Tiit and his younger brother, Peep, were stellar athletes who ran track and played football and basketball for Prior Lake High. Tiit fell in love twice: as a fifth grader with art and as a young man with Ann Swanson. They celebrated 55 years of marriage in August.
He earned a BFA and MFA at the University of Minnesota. From 1967 to 2002, Tiit was a beloved art professor at UWEC. He taught thousands of students the difference between looking and seeing, which enriched both their art and their lives. He influenced and mentored countless graduates. Until his recent illness, Tiit painted every day. The past two decades his work was influenced by the perfect designs found in nature. Tiit’s paintings are hanging in many collections in the US and abroad. He showed his work in galleries in Fall Creek and Eau Claire to as far away as Boston, New York City, Toronto, Stockholm, and Talinn, Estonia. Just before he died, he selected paintings for his last show, a retrospective of his work from 1949 to 2022, to be held at the Pablo Center in 2023.
Tiit became interested in the relationship between art and music in graduate school and eventually he discovered his natural sense of rhythm. As a percussionist, he could turn just about any surface into a drum set. He played with the Pay Toilet South Hampton Strutters, Robert Johnson, Peter Phippen, Rick Silloway, and many other bands.
Tiit loved a roaring bonfire and a cold beer. He golfed often and worked at perfecting his game each time. Tiit travelled throughout the world and shared many adventures with his wife and friends. He could talk to anyone, and he always made strangers feel welcome. He never lost his ability to sit and look. For 43 years, Tiit and Ann’s home base was Fall Creek. They moved to Eau Claire in 2017. Tiit spent his final days in his home studio surrounded by the people and objects he loved.
In his memory, take time to really see the landscape and the people around you.
Rose Dolan-Neill, Curator
Assistant Director of Artistic Programming
In this retrospective we observe a lifetime of creativity. Both worldly and otherworldly: Tiit Raid was a person with such immense talent that he made his work seem effortless. Locked within his observations of nature, Tiit Raid gives clarity in color, form, and content.
Tiit Raid’s early works demonstrate a desire to transform physical objects into permanence: a want to know and explore. Later in life there is a yearning to communicate, to literarily paint words and find a new meaning. In Tiit’s works from the early 2000s, homes are depicted centrally on small canvases indicating a genuine warmth for comfort and clarity. Elegant forms vibrate through his later abstract works. Lines swirl and cut, dots and circular notes scale pathways and move larger objects.
A retrospective is a gift from the artist: an exhibit of artwork that is a physical manifestation of Tiit Raid’s lifetime of curiosity and courageousness.
This exhibit would not be possible without the strength and determination of Ann Raid, Tiit Raid’s wife of 55 years. Ann has generously shared her husband’s words, works, and memories with us. We are honored to acknowledge Ann Raid, and the kindness of Tiit Raid’s friends and family in loaning his artwork to Pablo Center and sharing in his memory. Our thanks go out to the many supporters of Tiit Raid that have given monetary gifts to Pablo Center in his memory.
Through the viewing of art in our virtual exhibits on our website, we can all have a common experience. We can gain an understanding of our community and our humanity by scrolling through the images of artworks that have been created by our region’s top artistic minds. We can reach audiences from across the world and those communities close to home that might not get to come into Pablo Center that often. Please be sure to read through the artistic statements and biographies of the artists on display, these words will add to the enjoyment and appreciation of the artwork and may give you further reason to purchase a work of art from Pablo Center. Who knows, it may even inspire you to take the next steps in your creative endeavor.
All artwork pricing is set by the artist and is non-negotiable and non-refundable. All artwork sales are by commission with Pablo Center at the Confluence. Your purchase supports our endeavors to present quality visual arts programming that is free and open to the public.