Tuesday, February 26, 2008

James Pernotto at Trumbull Art Gallery

The Trumbull Art Gallery will host a show of recent work by the artist James Pernotto beginning Sunday, March 2nd at 2pm. So much has been said about Jim, his career and his place in our community that I risk redundancy in this blog.
Of course you can expect to see high quality work that has been tried in the fires of time and the unforgiving , sometimes brutal ,art world. You will also meet a man of extreme dedication to his work and to the Mahoning Valley.
Jim lived in worked in Youngstown during a time when many were fleeing the city for greener pastures, and when he did eventually work for a time in Manhattan as the director of Pacifico Fine Art Gallery, he made sure his peers from Ytown found art connections in his new home. Even while in NYC he still found time to have his hand in Youngstown art concerns.
I'd like to thank Jim for the time and effort he has put into helping me with my art career over the years. When I arrived at the YSU Art Department from the deep country side of Central Ohio, I was a young, brash redneck boy with a lot of energy and not a lot of brains. Jim saw my talent, encouraged me in his printing classes, and was one of the very few people I knew that took a real concern for my future as an artist. Throughout the years he has given me valuable and hard to come by art business advice and even today, when my stubborn redneckedness rears its ugly head, he has enough patience and vision to point me in the right direction.
We are very lucky to have such a high caliber human being as Jim living and working in our city and I urge all my dear readers to make it to the opening on Sunday. I suspect you will have a great time, not only for the promised "Chocolate Decadence" to be served but because Jim does indeed know how to host and art opening.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Frederic Molden at the Star Gallery

Showing at the Star Gallery, Oakland Center for the Arts, in conjunction with their performance "The Colored Museum" are the fine paintings and installations of Frederic "The Count" Molden. A Youngstown based artist with a substantial resume', his work has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and is in the collections of such personalities as Michael Jordan and Jerome Bettis.

When I first entered the gallery I was struck by the installation pieces that feature many fine antiques from Molden's personal collection and which are family heirlooms. The most impressive of these is the assemblage(above) entitled "The Black Press: Soldiers with Swords" which addresses a family members involvement in early print media. Detail Shot of "Belly Rubbin' With Da Back Breaker" Oil on Canvas. 4x5 feet.

Detail shot of " Jukin' With Daddy Long Legs". Oil on Canvas. 3x4 feet.
As an oil painter myself I was greatly impressed with every aspect of the paintings and is is rare for me to make such a statement. (Please note that my photos do not do justice to the high quality of the original work). The skill level is amazing as is the use of color and composition. Much of the work is heavy with history and nostalgia, which some people may feel is a negative in certain artistic circumstances. However, Molden's rich technique and insight take this genre to a new and pleasing level. In many ways I am reminded of the great African American painter from Cleveland, Huey Lee Smith, although Molden certainly has his own unique style.
This show is a must see for those with a penchant for Regional Art. The entire gallery is warm and inviting and every piece in the show is compelling.
The Star Gallery is open during regular performance hours and one does not have to attend the performance to visit the gallery.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Art Youngstown Wine Tasting at the Youngstown Club

Congratulations again to Art Youngstown for yet another successful, well attended art event. Thanks to Emerine Estates and the Youngstown Club for the Wine, the use of the hall and the staff.
These pics were shot well before most of the guests arrived and the place was full by mid evening, but not uncomfortably so.
To say this event was a "wine tasting" is an understatement as the wine flowed freely and abundantly all night.
Several artists demonstrated their skill and their paintings were auctioned later in the evening. Above, Karen Wennberg (Art Youngstown's computer whiz) works on a delicate painting of a heart shaped galaxy.

Willie Duck, artist extrordinaire, creates an interior painting of the event.

The local gentry enjoying the wine warmed atmosphere.

Purple is such a fine color for a Lenten wine tasting, no?

Needless to say there were many charming, beautiful, well dressed ladies in attendance.

Ah, the music.

By the way, I still had plenty of time to make it to the Oaks for the Pavlick fight with plenty of time to spare once the Wine Tasting was over. Shame on all you art supporters who opted for a pre-fight party in a bar somewhere.