The new exhibition at the Crary Art Gallery, opening with a reception on Saturday, March 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. and running through Saturday, March 23, has humanity in sharp focus. Two painters who have never met each other before will bring their work together for their show titled Figuratively Seeing. The common thread is the expressive quality that these two artists bring to their work in very different ways. At the opening reception, the artists will each give a short talk about their work, at 6:30 and then at 7 p.m. The gallery exhibition, as well as this event, are always free and open to the public.
The paintings of both Luis Alvarez-Roure and James Russell May explore the potential of human figures and facial expressions to convey meaning. Mr. May brings narrative stories into his view, and uses classical mythology as a conduit for reflection on themes of universal concern. His subjects are looking, often as not, directly out of the picture plane and into a viewer's eyes. Even the eyes on the severed head of John the Baptist communicate this way. Besides the narrative and expressive tone he brings to his work, evident too, is the artist's experimental approach to paint. It can be seen in the varied surfaces he achieves. Mr. May is based in Louisville, Kentucky, and holds a degree in Fine Art from Savannah College of Art and Design.
Luis Alvarez-Roure, a classical pianist and educator as well as a painter, takes a more formal approach to his subjects through his subtly revealing portraiture. He paints directly from life, but will use photographs when the sitter is not available. He works toward finding in his subjects just the right touch of expression to show a lifetime of living stories just below the surface. Mr. Alvarez-Roure studied painting and drawing at the Art Students League in New York City and lives in nearby New Jersey.
‘Apollo and Daphne’ by James Russell May
Mr. Alvarez-Roure is making an exceptional addition to this show, which will be especially exciting for a lucky person. For a $10 donation at the opening reception or anytime during the exhibition, donors are entered to win a chance to be the subject of a portrait which the artist will paint during a live demonstration when the show ends. Tickets may be obtained during gallery hours or from any Crary board member. The winner will be notified at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 23, and also announced on Facebook, crarygallery.org, and the gallery's phone message that night. The next day, after patiently sitting at the gallery for about three hours, the winner will take home a brand new 20 x 20-inch oil on canvas portrait. This is a very unique opportunity for someone to get a professional portrait of him or herself or a loved one. (Children under 10 not eligible for this offer, as they will have to sit somewhat still for about three hours.) More information can be found on the gallery's website (crarygallery.org) or on Facebook.
The artist's painting demonstration is otherwise free and open for anyone to watch for any amount of time, between noon and 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, at the Crary Art Gallery on 6th and Market Streets in downtown Warren. The Figuratively Seeing exhibition is open during regular gallery hours, Thursdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays noon to 4 p.m.