The “Man Made” exhibition currently showing at the Orcas Center is by local male artists that are seldom seen in local venues. Male artists are not prone to wave their own flags about their work, but rather we do our paintings, give a Neanderthal grunt of “me do good,” and then file the work away in storage places. However, the current exhibition may spark a deserved interest in what is happening with men-generated art.
OK, the highlights of the show: most definitely Dwight Duke’s diptych “Reflections” (meant to be shown side by side) of gun powder-generated images that are of barely representational imagery brought to a mesmerizing result by igniting gunpowder on Venetian plaster. It is both serendipitous and intentional at the same time. It is unfortunate that his work was not given a more prominent wall space. His bronze sculpture is also a tour de force laden with metaphors (since this is a beautiful 3D piece, it should be placed in the middle of the foyer).
John Berry’s “Freda” is also a beautiful painting that should be studied for the use of both paint and drawing techniques. The two techniques complement one another and are obviously done by an accomplished artist. I hope to see more of his work in future exhibitions.
Bob Mattox’s “Apples” is another example of faultless painting, so well done in both exploratory technique and sensitive tonality (where have these guys been hiding?).
I’m commenting here on the fine arts only. There are other artists and artisans that are presenting very good pieces, but I want to dwell on the fine arts in particular and not the crafts. Exhibitions of this caliber are long overdue, and hopefully, the Visual Arts Committee of Orcas Center will be lining up some really good exhibitions for the future.