Thursday, October 24, 2013

Exhibits, Education, and Research

I've got work in two shows that will open next week.  One of them is the curated Citizen - Soldier - Citizen exhibit at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, Indiana.  This will be of artwork by military veterans, with a particular focus on the post-9/11 time period.  As stated on the website, "the exhibit will explore the ways in which soldiers returning to civilian life use the arts to heal and communicate their personal experience."  I'm familiar with the work of some of the artists participating: Mike Fay (creator of the Joe Bonham Project), Aaron Hughes, and Ehren Tool, and I'm honored to be in their company.  The exhibit will run from Nov 2 to Feb 9, which is a good long time.  Michigan City is about 60 miles east of Chicago on Lake Michigan.

Baghdad Guard House
Oil on canvas, 31"x21"

I'll have six artworks in the show: Baghdad Guard House (above), Tent City, two paintings from the "Portraits from Iraq" series, and two pastels from the "Faces of Afghanistan" series.

A Pachydermian Portrait of King George II,
Pope Karl, and Lord Cheney
Oil on canvas, 36"x42"

The other show is "The FL3TCH3R Exhibit", a juried show of "socially-engaged art" at Tipton Gallery in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee.  They will have my "Pachydermian Portrait" (above).  Frankly, I was a bit surprised, as this one is now dated and I submitted two others that I thought were more in line with the times.  But this is the one they chose, and it's a good painting, so I'm happy to have it included in the exhibit.  There will be an exhibition opening on Friday, Nov 1, 6-8 pm and Janis and I plan to be there.

In addition to getting my works ready for these exhibitions, I've been busy with a lot of other studio things.  One is that I'm working with two young women to help them with their senior projects.  This has been a lot of fun.  Both are very excited about their projects, which is infectious, and they're working hard to learn as much as they can.  They're moving quickly through the basics of painting and are about to get into some more complex technical aspects.  I really enjoy seeing the spark in somebody's eyes when they suddenly make a connection and learn something new.

I've mentioned before that I wanted to get started on a new series of paintings about survivors.  Well, it's now underway.  I've found two people who are willing to work with me.  One survived a horrific rape, and the other was a Marine in some brutal fights in Viet Nam.  I've spent a good bit of time talking with them to understand their stories.  I don't just want to paint a portrait and say "this guy survived Viet Nam", I want the painting to say something much more about him and his experiences.  This is a slow process.  But it's been engaging and humbling to learn the stories of these people.

1 comment:

Mandy Oviatt said...

I really like your painting of the Baghdad Guard House! I think Veteran Art is moving, and amazing.