Friday, April 15, 2016

Table for 14 at Gallery 6000

Table for 14 at Gallery 6000

By Tom Wachunas

    EXHIBIT: Table for 14 – Still-Life paintings by Kent Stark Painting I and Painting II Students – THROUGH MAY 6 at Gallery 6000, Conference Center Dining Room , Kent State University at Stark / 6000 Frank Avenue NW, North Canton, Ohio

    ARTISTS RECEPTION on TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 5:30p.m. – 7:30p.m.

    I realize that this is fairly short notice and beg your indulgence. But I think that this brief and stunning exhibit – up only until May 6 – warrants the attentions of my readers - both those among you who might be passionate about painting per se, and those who can appreciate the necessity and depth of discipline acquired in “academic” studio arts training.

   The works on view here are by 14 Kent Stark undergraduate students in the Painting I and Painting II classes taught by Professor Jack McWhorter, a highly accomplished painter, educator, and Coordinator of the Kent Stark Art Department. The paintings he selected for this exhibit are, interestingly enough, collectively a perfect subject matter for Gallery 6000, housed as it is in an elegant dining room. And further, they electrify the space. The walls really pop. More importantly, these works are exciting outcomes of the students’ understanding of the projects assigned to them. I leave you with McWhorter’s words about the parameters of those projects, and look forward to seeing you at the reception.

   “Clarity and expression in painting require an understanding of the painter’s tools and concepts. The Painting I and Painting II course teach this information and understanding through a series of projects, each of which is intended to explore different key painting concepts involving direct observation and invention. Using acrylic and oil paint, students develop a body of work that explores issues of color theory, form through value and tone, and a better understanding of spatial relationships within the picture plane. Through completion of these projects students achieve a certain level of proficiency and explore their potential for personal expression in painting.

 Working in class from a large complicated tableau constructed from cloths, objects and furniture densely packed with many patterns, textures and colors, students begin by making several small preparatory drawings. Through these drawings the students investigate the relative merits of one vantage point over another, selectivity as to inclusions and exclusions. After making the initial decisions about composition, students begin their canvas using a palette of warm and cool grays in a grisaille technique. Further development of these paintings follows demonstrations of scumbling techniques.

 Visual emphasis on physical qualities of paint and gesture can supersede recognizability of the still life source. I encourage the students to become sensitive to viscosity of paint and method of application; to be inventive, daring, innovative, and to experiment with mixing colors directly on the canvas as well as on the palette. Every angle of the studio set up gives you split-complementary arrangements. Notice which colors have punch, and which are more subtle by paying attention to how they mix; the relationship between the amount of paint used and its tinting power. Paint each time as though you need to finish the painting during the present session.”

   - Jack McWhorter

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