Monday, October 23, 2023

Brava Illustrata! Celebrating Grit, Grace, and Gratitude


Brava Illustrata! Celebrating Grit, Grace, and Gratitude

Water Balloons

Thank you for fixing my Hip

Where did you find that baguette?

Meet ya at Milestone

Happy Pappy

BuzzBin and the Frankenstein Ghosts

By Tom Wachunas

            “I would see this man, pushing a cart down the sidewalk, with a baguette and wearing vans daily when working @siloartsstudio . He always was smiling, and I have no idea where he was finding this tall slender bread- or the story behind his shoes. He always brought a smile to my face. No idea where he came from or where he was going…”  - Kat Francis -  commenting on her piece, “Where did you find that baguette?”

EXHIBIT: Dear Canton – recent work by Kat Francis / at Silo Art Studios, 431 4th Street NW, downtown Canton, Ohio / THROUGH OCTOBER 28, 2023 - viewing hours Monday-Friday 9a.m to 3p.m


      As bad luck would have it, I was unable to be present at the much-heralded Friday the 13th opening of the Dear Canton exhibit of recent work by Kat Francis. By all accounts it was quite the exciting, well-attended event. And deservedly so. While I’m really sorry I missed it,  I’m all the more happy to report that Kat’s work remains viewable here for a few more days.

   So what are we seeing? A journal? A scrapbook? A love letter? An effusive thankyou note? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

   It’s all largely in the form of her playful, meticulous assemblages, many made with thin, layered slices of wood, painted with bright, delightfully energetic illustrations of the people, places and things of Canton’s sociocultural ethos that she has come to love and value.

   Here are some excerpts from the displayed letter she wrote to all of us. “Hello City of Dreamers…I am in awe of how resilient you are…You are determined. You are unique. A city of underdogs that start successful businesses and help their neighbors succeed any time they can…I have been inspired by you…because you’re a unique, scrappy and a determined city, with so many talented, motivated and beautiful people…Thank you for being part of my story. The good, the bad, and inspiring me daily…Cheers to all you underdogs…keep creating the city that you want to live in…”

   So on a personal note to Kat Francis, let me add… may your gratitude remain infectious, your creativity contagious, and your joy ever increasing.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Scintillating Sixth Sense Sojourns


 Scintillating Sixth Sense Sojourns 

80s Track Suit

Olives and Company

Aerial View 2 (top)/ Aerial View 1

Road Signs

Oh My

Lessons of Fatherhood 1-4

Refraction 2 (top) / Refraction 1

By Tom Wachunas 

“I make no distinction between poetry and painting.”  - Joan MirĂ³

   EXHIBIT: Departures / recent paintings by Christopher Triner / at John Strauss Studios Gallery, 236 Walnut Ave NE, Canton, OH / Gallery hours: M – F 10a.m. to 5p.m.  THROUGH OCTOBER 13, 2023 / Artist Reception on Friday, Oct. 6, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

   Prior to seeing this exhibit, my last encounter with the work of prolific painter Christopher Triner was his solo show called “Detours,” at Cyrus Art Gallery one year ago. Here’s what he wrote then about his exquisite landscapes and arboreal scenes: "We have all found ourselves looking for “detours” during the last two and a half years. Ways to pass time; ways to stay safe; ways to calm our own anxieties; and maybe even ways to escape. My detours found me traveling near and far to appreciate simplicity, solitude, and a bit more of myself."  He focused on representing nature as a beautiful, comforting refuge, rendered with a luscious palette, and pulsing with a luminous serenity.

   Here’s a link to my post about that show, in case you’re interested:

   Switch gears now, and fast-forward to more recent work featured in Triner’s current solo exhibit titled Departures. Here’s some of what he has written about these very distinctive abstractions: “…I see my work as still a type of topography or map-making of landscapes, but now, I cannot visually see the trails, the paths, and the light sources from images; only in the arbitrary occurrences that happen on the painting surfaces…”

   Departures, then? In the particular style of imagery, certainly. Yet Triner’s newer paintbrush trawlings are nonetheless tantalizing arrivals in their own right. They’re intimate, contemplative visits to…elsewhere. Sensing the seine, pith, and marrow of these abstractions is to enter a psychogenic ‘place’ – Triner’s as well as your own. So, how sharp is your sixth sense these days? To get into it, you’ll need to intuit. 

  Triner’s paintings are kinetic, performative actions. They’re not static, objectively illustrated geophysical scenes, but rather energetically encrypted expressions of a state of mind and heart. Call it a meditative choreography of moods and memories filtered, unraveled, and reconfigured as if to the beat of the painter’s brush hearing music.

   To be complete, all they need now are willing partners. Care to listen and dance along, anyone?