Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dali Day

The last time I looked at the calendar it was April and Easter was almost here. Since that look at the calendar, my husband and I took a much anticipated trip to Treasure Island, Florida. The event was scheduled to coincide with our oldest grandson's spring break because our intent was to gather up the two daughters, the two sons-in-law and the 4 grandchildren and have a week of family. And we did. No one was excused. We all pitched in lugging beach chairs, coolers, chasing kids, looking for kids, cooking and keeping the beach towels clean. The adults took turns slipping away for a few hours leaving their offspring to grandpa and grandma.

When it was our turn to disappear we headed for the new Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. The collection has been exhibited since 1982 but this year, in keeping with Dali's surrealist fascination, the new museum building opened on 1-11-11 at 11:11. The building is as intriguing as the art it houses. The grounds include a garden, a grotto and labryinth. The building design uses helixes, spirals and "fool the eye" techniques to create a total immersion into Dali's creative genius. The Cafe Gala serves only Spanish inspired food. How fun is that?

First we took the docent tour through the main exhibit then, after a little Orangina break, we used the self guided audio tour to do it again. It was a great beach break and we spent the better part of the day there. It is a must see if you find yourself in the Tampa area.

When we returned to the beach we headed to the Don CeSar for cocktails and the sunset... with a couple of grandchildren, of course!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Portraits that Make A City

The Gallery is proud to share the portraits of fifteen individuals who, in our opinion, have helped shape the personality of Bowling Green, Kentucky. They are by no means the only ones but these folks came to mind quickly when brainstorming about personality, visibility, and accomplishments.

You may wonder about the Notable or Notorious title. We felt that we are all notable at sometime in our life and with some people, same with notorious. It truly is a matter of perspective. We all have our loving side, our generous side and yet deep down we know there's a little devil lurking in there somewhere too!

We gave four Bowling Green residents the honor of being included posthmusithly: Ernst Hogan, George Ann Hobson Duncan, Pauline Tabor and Dr. McCormack . It was our feeling that these people and their personalities were slipping from the collective memory of the city. We hope our exhibit reintroduces them to you.

Let us know which Notable or Notorious person inspires, intrigues, or just interests you. We would love to read your thoughts and comments. Better yet, suggest someone you think is worthy of inclusion in Notable or Notorious II.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The most widespread and important of the Christian symbols is the cross. It is universally recognized as the instrument on which Christ was crucified, died for our sins and redeemed us in the eyes of God the Father. Many of the faithful sign themselves with the cross, “a repetition in motion of the symbol of our salvation,” and are blessed with the sign by the priest as they begin and end prayer. Crosses decorate our homes and adorn our bodies.

“Properly speaking, a crucifix is a cross to which there is attached, in relief an image of the body of Christ.” Simple literal representations of the crucifixion as relief in doors and walls began to appear in the 5th century. The Middle Ages continued to create literal images of the crucifixion but heightened the violence suffered by Christ’s body. Icons, a Byzantine art form, often depicted a pitiable figure of Christ “dead and yet alive.” Artists of the Northern Renaissance style kept a harsh emotionalism as seen in Matthias Grunewald’s, Isenheim Altarpiece (1515). The 17th and 18th centuries saw a rise in dramatic representation of Christ as in Rubens, The Raising of the Cross (1609-10).

Modern day portrayals of the crucifixion are much more symbolic or stylized and devoid of violence.

Meditations on the Holy Cross is a series of paintings, drawings and sculpture by John Warren Oakes. Oakes, a Professor of Art in the Art Department at Western Kentucky University, began the series in December 2008 and has completed over 100 paintings in oil, acrylic and encaustic, plus over 600 drawings and a dozen low relief sculptures based on the Crucifixion.

Following his return from a sabbatical in England during the summer of 2008, John began searching for a new direction in which to take his art. His wife, Libby, suggested that he investigate The Shroud of Turin which by its nature continues to intrigue viewers with its power. But John felt that The Shroud offered no options for further artistic interpretation, “Where could I go without minimizing the effect of the original.”

During his months in Arizona, meditating and studying images of the past, the idea behind Meditations began to take shape. Drawing on his insights developed at a workshop on iconography in 2005, John felt moved to create sacred images that people were familiar with but in a more contemporary style.

Although the central figure of Christ is immediately recognizable in each piece, Oakes’ approach allows the viewer’s personal history to “fill in the rest” of the composition. He expresses this concept by combining multiple visions of the crucifixion integrated with abstract forms and transparent layers to suggest rather than depict the event. Hints of traditional images are barely visible. The viewer contributes personal memories of the historical subject completing the image. “One obvious challenge,” John admitted,” was to include enough detail to suggest a historical representation of the subject without losing the shroud-like mystery as the suggestion of the form is revealed.”

In the series he has included shapes and forms that suggest the subject without detailing. He uses value and color contrast to emphasize the feeling of internal light emanating from the figure surrounded by ambiguous space and darkness. His personal mark making and brush strokes add texture by over-painting in a scumbling fashion. His color is triadically harmonized and limited to warm darks with yellows and orange tints chromatically making value shifts. He employs complimentary cool blues and violets which contrast with the warm colors. Fr. Ray Goetz saw, “More light out of darkness, massive, solid looking cross but looks like it is floating, ‘If I be lifted up…”

The compositions are basically symmetrical with movement of forms emphasized. Figure elements are repeated in various positions to create movement, rhythm and a repetition of form. “I am interested in depicting the life energy that emanates from Christ, not the crucifixion itself. It is the transcendence of the spirit on which I focus. To paint the crucifixion in a non-sentimental but emotionally charged manner is my aim.”

“I am personally inspired to do this series. By meditating on the crucifixion I hope my relationship with the subject will grow and contribute to the effect this image has on the viewer. These are not for worship but to inspire and create a spiritual experience.” Indeed, upon viewing the work one senses his respect for the subject and the feeling of life of the spirit emanating after the death of the body which significantly contributes to emotional impact of his art.

John has posted many of the pieces on both on The Gallery at 916 website and https://picasaweb.google.com/jokerbgshow/MeditationsOnTheHolyCross?feat=directlink Since the series began he has received hundreds of comments that reflect an intense personal association with the work. “You know you are bearing witness to something great when you forget to take a breath in between viewings.” wrote Courtney Collins Bevins. “I see sadness within sadness here, Jesus/humility embraced by the father/grace.” Jennifer Bell commented. “It is lovely and I am moved.”

In addition to viewing Meditations on the Holy Cross on line, selected work from the series is on exhibit in several locations throughout the city during the month of April. The Presbyterian Church, 1003 State St. houses the largest collection and will host a reception for the artist on Friday, April 29th from 5:30-7:30. Christ Episcopal Church, 1215 State St. has created a gallery/ prayer space for reflection and prayer that will be open to the public during the day. St. Joseph Catholic Church, 434 Church St. has selected pieces for the sanctuary and the nave to enhance Lenten services and provide additional spiritual nourishment for all. Several pieces have been selected by Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Three Springs Road, for private meditation and prayer and may be viewed during day time hours. For 24 hour viewing, The Gallery at 916, 916 State St. has in addition to work inside the gallery several pieces displayed in the window. Additional work can be viewed through the windows at 1019 State St., which is next to The Presbyterian Church.

“I hope that a contemporary approach to this historical subject will contribute to the devotion of the subject of the crucifixion of Christ.”

John Warren Oakes was an Albert Dorne Scholar at the Art Students League of New York. He received the M.A. and M.F.A. degrees from the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa and did graduate work at Harvard University where he received the C.A.A. He is a member of ArtWorks Coalition of Bowling Green Kentucky, The Sedona Visual Artists Coalitions of Sedona, Arizona, Encaustic Artists International, The Encaustic Art Institute of New Mexico and International Encaustic Artists.

The reception for John Warren Oakes on April 29 is free and open to the public and will be presented by all participating venues. During the exhibition, visitors may register and list their church affiliation at The Gallery at 916. At the conclusion of the exhibit, the church with the most viewers will be given a painting of their choice from the exhibition.


Friday, July 2, 2010

First Ever Public Art Hanging!

Just a quick note before everyone turns off their computers for the weekend.

We have extended the deadline for entries!!! Since Steve and I will be in The Gallery on Monday, July 5th hanging and labeling artwork, we have decided to accept entries with artwork on Monday. We have a few spots remaining and we wouldn't want anyone who is interested to be left out. Call The Gallery before you make the trip downtown 843-5511 and let us know you are on your way. We'll leave the light on for you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gallery Hop Night

The second Gallery Hop of 2010 took place last Friday evening. We had a great time and a great turn out. Libby Browning graciously agreed to be our celebrity bartender for the evening. She looked lovely and did a fine job with the Margaritas and the wine! She also had a great time meeting old friends and making some new ones. We look forward to having her back for the August Hop.

Verdi catered the event and Mirza had a wonderful assortment of hors d'oeuvers that included, my favorite, salmon croquettes. This is the second year that Cabot Creamery has sponsored our events. All of the galleries including "916" had an assortment of Cabot Creamery cheese on hand for everyone to sample. The food and the wine went well with the art! Overall, it was a nice mix.

Several clients left with Lynette Haggbloom's slumped wine bottle cheese trays. A great gift idea at $35.00. Kay Zoretic, A Sterling Performance, was another crowd pleaser. Her new line of museum inspired sliver jewelry ( $65 and up) got a lot of attention. Kay created several etched silver necklaces with a different Kanji symbol on each. Pieces by Lloyd K. Hughes, Shanna Paul and Bill VanTassel also left with happy Gallery Hoppers.

The Hop Passport was introduced during this month's event. All Hoppers received a special "passport" that has a numbered circle for each venue. When you visit a participating studio or gallery a representative stamps on their number. Participants who have all 16 circles stamped by the end of the December Hop are eligible to win a grand prize. If you have not received a Passport and would like to participate, all venues will have additional Passports available for the August Hop.

So now that the big event of June is behind us we are feverishly working on the Public Art Hanging scheduled for July. If you haven't heard about it ...head for our news page and check it out. It's going to be fun!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Public ART Hanging!

Downtown Bowling Green will be the place to be during July. Concerts in the Park will move from Wednesday at noon to Friday evening at 6:30. Verdi and 440 Main are working on special events and Mariah's continues with its 30th anniversary celebration.

Not to be outdone, The Gallery has decided to create its own special event. We will be hosting the First Public Art Hanging in Bowling Green. This exhibit is open to any one. We will be accepting entries until July 1st and will begin hanging the work on July 6th. The opening reception will take place on Friday, July 9th beginning at 6pm to coincide with the first Concert In the Park. From that moment until August 5th at closing time the public is invited to vote for their favorite piece of art. All during the exhibit, we intend to keep the voting tally on our Facebook page. That way the artists and our patrons can keep tabs on their favorite entry. Each vote costs a dollar and the $$$ will be donated to our neighbors, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for children) to help them carry on the wonderful work they do for children in South Central Kentucky. They will also keep weekly Facebook postings on the exhibit.

All the necessary entry information can be found in the news section of our website. Print the entry form and mail it or come by The Gallery, Monday through Friday 11-5 or Saturday 11-2, and meet Steve and me. (Sorry, we are not set up for you to enter on line.) We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about the show, call us 270-843-5511 or send us an e-mail.

We are really looking forward to this exhibit and this is your chance to have your work in The Gallery at 916. This is for everyone! We just reserve the right to refuse anything offensive, but that is just a minor detail and we hope we won't have to turn anyone away.

So get our your brushes and create something wonderful or take that piece off the wall that everyone always tell you how good it is and enter it in The First Public Art Hanging in Bowling Green, Kentucky!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summer's Almost Here

Seems like Spring is quickly turning into summer. School is almost out! WKU graduation is Saturday and the local schools only have two weeks to go! Memorial Day will open the pools and there we are! Summer for us means great things happening in The Gallery and on Fountain Square.

We are gearing up for the next Gallery Hop which will be held on June 4th. For this Gallery Hop we have put together a collection of 2D and 3D art from various artists who hail from all around Kentucky. We have metal work from Lloyd K. Hughes from Lexington, pottery by Fred Weisner from Maysfield and Thoms Porter from Philpot. Jewelry by Rad Relics based here in Bowling Green and The Purple Rabbit Studio from Scottsville. Our yard art is created by Karen Hart of Louisville and Jana Johns from Louisville designs our Derby Babes. And of course we continue to inspire Bill Van Tassel from Morgantown to create novel art forms in glass. The Gallery Hop, Friday evening June 4th until at least 8pm. After that good music at 440 until the wee hours!

The Concerts in the Park will begin Wednesday June 2nd at noon. The band will be "Blue Light Special" who rock with music from the 60's, 70's and 80's. So grab a lawn chair and a picnic lunch (don't know if Rapid Rick will be on hand) and plan to spend an hour or so on beautiful Fountain Square. Big thank you to BB&T who once again has stepped up to title sponsor for the 31st Annual Series! And in a much smaller way, The Gallery at 916 is once again proud to be a sponsor of this great program.

Summer is starting and it's looking good!