NEWARK — Wayne County Council for the Arts is pleased to present in our Main Gallery, “Then & Now” – drawings by Neal McDannel.
As quoted by Neal: “Since I started back to drawing, four years ago, I picked up on a theme that I had finished my work with 20 years earlier. I make multi-image pieces, mostly diptychs and triptychs. When you create work like this it adds another dimension to the narrative. The viewer automatically wonders about the relationship between the images. In the Domestic Situation series the work is about how we can hurt the ones we love the most, family. The Highway to Heaven Series shows the interesting visual dynamics of one site viewed from many different positions. Generations reflects an aspect of a multi-generational relationship between grandfather, son and grandsons. Even individual drawings shown in this exhibit have their partner images waiting to be made.
“Most black and white art shown in Newark are lithographic drawings created on a flat stone with a grease crayon which were done when I had access to a print studio and was pursuing my degree from the University of Cincinnati. When I returned to working, because of a limited working space and lack of proper ventilation, painting was not a practical medium. Since I had had some experience with pastels in college and enjoyed the medium it became how I chose to draw today.
“In my portraiture work I like to deal with the human psyche. Faces are excellent communicators and illustrate subtle forms of expression. A finished piece can clearly convey to us something very specific while at other times allowing us room for interpretation and I like that. Photography has always taken an important role in my work. Pictures have been used as a means to flush out ideas. I also appreciate how photographs abstract reality.
“When I get down to drawing, as work progresses, I continually reassess the work. This process usually leads to subtle or major departure(s) from the reference image which bring about the finished piece. I am not beyond manipulating formal elements in an attempt to make the mundane, provocative. My goal is to enhance our appreciation of the everyday and the common in life.
“The Highway to Heaven series is a good example of this. The subject of ramps and bridges appealed to me because they contain a number of strong compositional elements. The ramps recede and project, glide under and swoop over, and they do it all with striking variety. These scenes were created with photo assemblages. My drawings bring out elements and possibilities that are not truly realized in the originally referenced photo. Photographs also provide me with a high degree of visual information not available in a life study and it allows me to draw from views that are only maintainable for moments. Thus photography offers me perspectives I would not have access to under normal conditions.”
In the Chris Fayad Members’ Gallery, they are happy to present Sarah Kyburg. All of her life she has been painting and drawing while raising eight children with her husband on their Angus farm. During this time she managed to take some formal art classes with her first from Archie Miller who was sculpture in residence at University of Rochester. She also took a botany class at the time and became interested in doing botanical illustrations. This let do taking botanical illustration classes from Benie King at Cornell University. Later she enrolled in the Memorial Art Gallery art class for five years and learned a great deal about drawing figures.
Sarah says, “Wayne Williams taught me a great deal during his figure drawing classes ad did Ken Townsend in the plienair classes.” Her favorite medium is soft pastel and prefers to work outside doing landscapes. When she travels to new places she now does paintings of the locations instead of taking photographs. As stated by Sarah, “One can never stop learning. Everyone has something valuable to teach.”
These exhibits are on view through Sept. 27.
Wayne Art Gallery hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, noon to 3 p.m. and by appointment. Admission is free. Visit these exciting exhibits and stop by our great Gallery Gift Store. Gift certificates are available for classes and gift store items. Wayne County Council for the Arts is located at 108 W. Miller St., Newark. For more information, call 331-4593, email or visit