Discover Local Artists: Steve Konopacki

Steve Konopacki

The exhibit, Inner Space – large scale paintings by Steve Konopacki, runs through October 7 at the  Jan and Gary Dario Gallery, HU Bldg., Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth campus.

Wellington resident Steve Konopacki teaches college composition at Palm Beach State College, where his classes integrate the techniques of the formal writer with those of the word-painter.

His abstracts are hard to categorize, since he aims for his viewers to go  beyond their rational search for meaning and explore the place within themselves that is without language,  where color and relationships work together.

“The River:Images of Florida impinge while contemplating Manhattan from Edgewater, New Jersey.” 2004 Giclee print,      8 by 9 ft. (original piece, oil on canvas).

“I  invite the viewer into the world where thought has passed from thinking, by capturing the latent silence found in the space between hard-edged shapes and scale,” he said. ” The interpreting mind passes from language-based semantic identification (what does it mean?) towards a stillness…towards still ‘life.’

“Onward Christian Soldiers on Jupiter: Opposing ideas meet where worlds collide.” 2009 giclee print, 8′ x 9′ (original piece, oil on canvas).

“In the movement from recognizable shapes into the surrounding silence, the constantly churning mind —the mind that demands meaning from all things — calms down and accepts the shape as a shape, not what it should become.”

Palm Beach State College is at 4200 S. Congress Avenue, Lake Worth. Gallery Hours are 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, contact Kristin Miller Hopkins at (561) 868-3909.

Opening night

PB Post article link, Aug. 30, 2010

Discover Local Artists: Jean Hutchison

The Artists of Palm Beach County are sponsoring a juried exhibit at the Crest Theater, Old School Square, August 25 through October 30, with an opening reception on Thursday, August 26, from 5:30-7 p.m.

Boca Raton Museum of Art School artist and teacher Miles Leventhall accepted 26 artists into the show, whose works cover a wide variety of media.

As an example of what you’ll find at this exhibit, take a look at the work of Jean Hutchison of Delray Beach.

Hutchison started drawing as soon as she could hold a crayon, she explains, and although she studied art as a child at the Art Institute of Chicago, she went to pharmaceutical school at the University of Wisconsin, managing to take art classes as electives.

Later, she re-enrolled in school finishing as an English major, an art minor and a science minor along with obtaining her teacher’s certificate.

“From this diverse background, I developed my passion for art as well as science,” she said. “I go to the zoos and animal rescue facilities to draw and since I have had the opportunity for extensive travel, I’ve photographed and drawn the more unusual animals, too. I also study the human body.”

“Bernadette in Blue,” a pastel 22 by 19 inches, edition 1, is $575.
The Beak Can Hold More Than the Belly Can,” an oil and acrylic on wooden box, 22 by 24 by 6 inches, is $1,200

“The Beak Can Hold More Than the Belly Can,” refers to a popular children’s poem and has a whimsical quality. “I found that pelican skull just like that on a sidewalk on Federal Highway in Delray Beach,” she said. “My friend said, ‘You’re not going to take that home,” and I said, ‘Yes I am.’

“Then I had the box built and I went to Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter and got some wonderful photos of pelicans.

“’A wonderful bird is the pelican,’” she adds.

Her other piece, “Bernadette in Blue,” is a portrait of a model who is also a friend. As such, the piece conveys the sense of a friendly, comfortable social interaction, which was exactly the situation in which the painting was executed, Hutchison explains.

The Crest Theatre, in Old School Square Cultural Art Center and National Historic Site, is located at 51 N. Swinton Avenue in Delray Beach.

Crest Theatre Galleries’ exhibit hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Admission is free.

Baby Turtle Rescue

This past Sunday, I joined Robert Schonfeld, South Palm Beach’s Turtle Man, on his morning walk on the beach.

Every Sunday morning during August, he takes groups to find and rescue baby turtles who did not make it out of the nest.

Here is a link to Schonfeld’s story and a turtle primer that I wrote up for The Coastal Star.

Discover Local Artists: Julia Whatley and Sonya Gaskell

Julia Whatley

Artspace 408, an exhibit sponsored by the Center for Creative Education, is currently featuring  the works of local artists Steve Brouse, Nelson Corchado, Sonya Gaskell, Veronica Volani-Inza, Frances Linn, Robert Murphy, Kevin Murray and Juia Whatley for the month of August.

For a quick taste, here are works by artists Whatley and Gaskell.

Julia Whatley of Lake Worth considers herself an action painter interested in the application of paint. “I employ vigorous mark-making to build form and to create energy and movement,” she said.

Color is integral and helps to express her subjects. She develops designs on her computer and paints them directly from the display screen. She also works from life — painting industrial scenes, for example.

Whatley is also interested in exploring human emotions and experiences through her paintings — one such example is “Rodrigo” from her  mug shot series, pictured below.

She invites her viewers to look beyond aspects of “beauty” and  “objects” often depicted in traditional paintings, and open their minds to perceiving the  human condition in its more raw states.

“It’s interesting to see the mug shots as a group,” she explains. “These people are not posed or fixed up and are in vulnerable situations.”

“Rodrigo,” by Julia Whatley, is a 16-by-20-inch acrylic-on-canvas painting, priced at $400.

Sonya Gaskell of Jupiter began plien aire painting in 1981 during a summer workshop in Maine with a group of Niel Welliver Graduate students.

Sonya Gaskill

She considers herself fortunate to be in the class of painters who are involved in what she calls a “visual conversation,” based on direct observation of outdoor landscape.

“I seek to express the unified nature of reality and its underlying nature of consciousness, through the use of the language of paint, tensioned continuously over a surface,” she said.  “In a three-point oscillation between observer, surface and perceived space, I seek to provide a window of transcendence —  an immediacy, which is simultaneously apparent and elusive, as the viewer’s perception shifts between awareness of paint (close up, on the canvas) and the eye’s journey through perceived space (as the viewer beholds the painting from a distance).”

“Juno Pier Wide,” by Sonya Gaskell, is an acrylic on board, 11 by 24 inches, priced at $500.

Gaskell has six pieces in this exhibit — the one above represents one of her recent works painted under the Juno Pier. “From a painterly perspective, it represents interesting subject matter, with bright sunlit areas of sand and water, and mid-tone areas lit by reflective light from the sand and water,” she said.

Artspace 408, at 408 Northwood Road in Northwood Village, is a multi-use art space that features exhibits including photography, pottery, sculpture by local artists and local students. The gallery’s exhibits change on the last Friday of each month and the openings of the new shows coincide with Northwood Village’s Art and Wine Promenade. Off season, the gallery is open Friday and Saturday evenings from 6-10 p.m. For information, call Scott Curry, at (561) 805-9927.