Saturday, March 10, 2018

Make a Promise to Yourself to See Paul Castagna's Three Promises @ the Kruk Gallery, UWS

"Painting is another language. It's a direct language like music... like very slow music, and like every other language it must be learned, even by the painter." --Paul Castagna

If you are part of the Twin Ports art scene, and you have never been to the Kruk Gallery, then I am going to scold you. Make me a promise that you will find a way to visit the Kruk during the month of March to see the Paul Castagna's paintings in the Three Promises show.

The late Paul Castagna was a graduate of the UWS Art Department who went on to teach art at Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, Michigan. The show was curated by one of his student, Arlene Schneller. Before his death from cancer in 2015 he requested that Schneller make three promises. First, she must have a show of his work. Second, that one of his pieces would be donated to a museum, and third, that everything sold would go towards children's art programs and arts initiatives within the Gogebi Range community.

Winchester (An anti-war statement about Iraq and Afghanistan)

The imagery of the work is vivid and striking. Anyone familiar with art history will recognize how Castagna's work draws inspiration from Cubism and the painterly Expressionist period of the early modern art movement of the last century.

Annie Dugan hung the paintings for this show, perfectly. According to Ms. Schneller, there are still hundreds of pieces in Ironwood worthy of being displayed. Seems to me I may need to take a trip to Ironwood sometime.

A nice surprise atthe opening was meeting Paul Castagna's father, who is just a hop, skip and a jump from being a Centenarian, kind man who seemed proud of his son's work being featured here.

I am sharing a portion of the work here while planning a follow up post that goes into more detail about some of the details of his most complex piece which features numerous symbols, including Guernica references, while making a commentary on our times.

The primary aim of today's blog post is to encourage our local friends of the arts to become familiar with the Kruk, to learn its hours and to pay more attention to the exhibitions happening there.

He's Not Who You Think
Sample page from his sketchbook.
To reiterate, I do hope you can visit the Kruk this month, if for no other reason than to discover where it is... but most especially, to enjoy the work of Paul Castagna.

A date has been finalized for the Goin' Postal 2018 Spring Art Show, so mark your calendar. Better yet, if you are on Facebook, mark the Interested or Going so that you get a reminder. I find these FB reminders one of the more valuable tools on social media.

Here is a reminder re: the Phenomenal show later today at AICHO.

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