Inquisitive grandmas, children, mothers and students enjoyed good food and art Feb. 24 with the largest Student Union gallery crowd so far this year. The 2-Dimensional Student Invitational produced an all-inclusive art show with paintings ranging in different sizes and mediums. Two-dimensional in this show means anything short of a full-blown sculpture.
Works were modern, classic, dynamic, demure and prompted much debate among spectators as to which was the best. The diversity resulted in several different favorites. There was much discussion of composition, meaning and color analysis.
Works in the show were selected by UAA art faculty based on excellence. The works included drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, computer art, illustration and graphic design.
Theodore Kincaid, who wants to be an economics teacher, describes painting as a relaxing and liberating experience.
“I come from a blue-collar family that wasn’t much interested in embracing my artistic side,” Kincaid said. “I have come to find that it keeps me sane.”
In Kincaid’s “The Show,” he started out with a large piece of plywood given to him by a friend who had already started a painting on it. He then roughly painted over it in white trying to preserve the grittiness of the plywood. The third and final layer is a mixture of spray and acrylic paints depicting a comical portrait scene.
“This painting is my world,” said Kincaid. “When I get up on the stage this is my show which is half cynical with a bit of self-grandiose and goofiness. I wanted it to be in your face.”
“The Show” is a self-portrait meant to give a poetic message using contrasting and sharp colors of brown, red, black and yellow with broad strokes.
“It has been about a month since I have started with this new form, which I call ‘urban texture,’” Kincaid said. “I was sort of pushed into this type of work as opposed to canvas painting for financial reasons.”
Using plywood and cheap paints such as spray paint, Kincaid has been able to create a coarse urban effect that he has found to be very therapeutic. The result in “The Show” is eye catching despite its harshness.
“When I work with canvas, I feel like I have to treat it as precious and create an elegant and fine-tuned piece of work,” Kincaid said. “When it’s cheap, I feel like I don’t have to worry as much and, therefore, I can express myself better.”
Kincaid hopes to start submitting his art to shows around town.
Aaron Bish added a burst of color to the gallery in his contemporary painting, “Mother’s Flowers,” a modern depiction of vibrant red flowers contrasted with a neon yellow and rich green. The balance of bright color creates an energetic feel further enhanced by 4-inch red matting and a silver frame.
Another growing artist, Allison Vaillencourt, pointed out her painting of a woman sleeping on a bed, lamenting it was hung in the wrong direction – vertical instead of horizontal.
“They said they will fix it by tomorrow,” Vaillencourt said with a nervous laugh.
Vaillencourt has been developing the theme of dreams in her work. Her painting, “Only in Dreams,” is a romantic portrait of a girl in dreamland.
“This painting is supposed to be dreamy versus reality,” Vaillencourt said. “The girl is translucent and in dreamland while the bed and blankets are reality.”
Twinkling stars provide a physical connection between the dream and reality while real cloth for the bedding helps create a wistful quality. A new technique she used in this painting was to use a transparency instead of a grid as a reference for proportion.
“It’s much easier and faster,” Vaillencourt said.
Vaillencourt will finish school next December and plans on going to graduate school in Portland, Ore. to master in art.
“I want to be one of those crazy art teachers,” Vaillencourt said.
Jennifer Glaves submitted a charcoal back profile of an older woman that demonstrates expert shadowing techniques.
“My pieces focus on the human form and figure,” Galves said. “I think it is one of the most expressive and powerful messages in paintings.”
Glaves became interested in charcoal, her favorite art form, because she can detail shadowing.
“I can shape and shadow using my fingers,” Glaves said. “I like doing the ruffles and folds in cloth sheets and have whole paintings of just sheets. Shadows create a lot more interest since you have all that detail.”
Taking art classes at UAA has helped Glaves improve her work because of the guidance and critique from fellow classmates and art teacher Hugh McPeck.
“Professor McPeck has been a really great teacher for me because he has been really positive,” said Glaves. “He points out your strong areas and encourages you to become a master in the area that you are good in.”
Glaves hopes to start her own art gallery selling other people’s paintings.
“My art is really personal,” said Glaves. “I can’t sell it.”
The 2-Dimentional Art Invitational Gallery is runs until March 10. The art gallery is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A special First Friday reception will be 5-7 p.m. March 4.