Saturday, November 14, 2015

Local Art Seen: Mischief and Other Tales by Shawna Gilmore at the Kruk

"Blending In"
Thursday evening I slid over to the Kruk Gallery at UWS to see the opening of Shawna Gilmore's "Mischief and Other Tales." As you'll see here, Gilmore's show is fun and full of whimsy. In keeping with the well-worn saying, every picture tells a story.

The titles alone make one smile. "Don't Poke the Bear While He's Bird Watching" and "Carrots Really Improved Her Vision" and "The Boy With Bionic Hearing Was An Excellent Listener" can't help but lighten your heart.

Stylistically I can easily see Gilmore as an illustrator of children's picture books. A few of the paintings made me think of some of local artist Scott Murphy's imagery, including the painting of an infant being carried away by balloons, which also reminded me of Adam Swanson, another local painter. But Gilmore has her own style, with crisp edges, living colors and a good sense of proportion.

Earlier this year I interviewed her husband Eddy Gilmore, author of The Emancipation of a Buried Man. Shawna and Eddy have a set of twins, a theme is reflected in paintings like "Sucker Punch" and "Double Trouble."

"Gladys Did't Act Her Age"
Of this show, the artist has explained in her statement, "The paintings in this series are directly inspired by the creativity and mischief of my own twin ten year olds. The misadventures and humorous scenarios they find themselves in are forever entertaining and challenging me to not take myself too seriously. I am interested in stepping over the bounds of reality to a place where anything is possible. What if I had a personal sasquatch? What if I carrots gave you laser vision? or What if I had the courage to be different? To see the world in this limitless way is the magical part of childhood I hope to never lose. And to laugh. We need to laugh."    --Shawna 11/14/15

"With His Own Personal Sasquatch..."
Here are some of the other pieces I enjoyed including "With His Own Personal Sasquatch, Victor Knew School Would Be Different This Year."

There are many more pictures I'd love to share here with you, but the better way to enjoy the 25 paintings in "Mischief and Other Tales" is to visit the gallery in person. (See the gallery's hours here.)
"The Great Escape"
"Chicken Fight"
"Double Trouble"
"Sucker Punch"
"Gloria Wasn't Like the Other Children"
Meantime, art goes on all around you. Enjoy it.

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