Getting Ready for a Big Exhibition
Philip Koch Banner, oil on panel, 40 x 30", 2011
Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News, Virginia will open the latest showing of my eight museum traveling exhibition Unbroken Thead next Friday evening, July 22. This will be the largest show I've ever had as we can expand the number of pieces to fill the generous spaces of PFAC's Ferguson Gallery (see below) and an additional gallery too. So I've added some brand new oils like the one above and some additional works on paper. I love especially the contrast of the grey vine charcoal drawings playinf off my colorful oil paintings.
There will be an opening reception Friday from with a reception 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. I'll be giving a short (very) talk during the ceremonies and I'll be touching on what I believe is the meaning of art. It's an elusive but fascinating question. I talk about why I make art and why I know those efforts matter in the artist's statement the museum asked me to write about the work I'll be showing. It's very succinct.
Here it is:
Think of a time when just for a moment you felt exhilarated, fully alive, yet completely centered and calm. That elusive feeling is what my paintings aim to recapture.
I grew up in upstate New York in a deep and sparsely settled forest along the shore of Lake Ontario. There were few other children to play with so I spent hours on my own exploring the dark and mysterious woods. As a kid I sensed right away that Nature was something of immense power. Year round we'd have strong North winds raking the birch and beech forest. Winter snows were frequent and deep. It was jaw dropping in its beauty. All my vivid memories are of being immersed in that near-wilderness.
This exhibition is titled Unbroken Thread because it stitches together my beginnings as a young painter of vividly colored abstractions with my later discovery of the expressiveness of realist imagery. The landscape can tell us the most meaningful of stories. Each generation sees its world a little differently. My job is to show 21st century viewers how strongly the beat of Nature is sounding within in all of us.