Five passionate artists, each with a unique aptitude of creativity, will fill the Rowan College at Gloucester County Dr. Ross Beitzel Art Gallery beginning Friday, Sept. 5 at 12 p.m.
During the two-hour reception, guests will mingle and admire the artwork of South Jersey-based artists Kelly Lynd, James O'Connor and George Herquet, Californian Len Davis and Chicagoan Paul Wandless, as well as enjoy light refreshments and live music. The art on display varies in scope from photography to clay prints.
A lover of everything photography, Lynd earned her bachelor's degree in fine arts with a concentration in photography from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. She has won various awards including first place in the Women in the Arts Showing and second place in the Gloucester County College Digital Photography competition. Lynd's photography reflects her obsession with abandoned possessions. She lets her mind "take a vacation" to wonder about the objects, to whom they belonged and why they were left behind.
"My passion for photography started when I was six and received a Care Bear pink camera with a flash kit for Christmas," said Lynd. "Then on my sixteenth birthday, my parents gave me my first 35mm camera and from that day forward I knew that being a photographer was my destiny."
O'Connor equates art to air and feels that he cannot exist without it. The digital artist is an active member of the Priya Gallery in Woodbury, as well as art related non-profits such as the FAF Coalition and the Center for Accessible Arts. The Gloucester County College alum also earned his bachelor's degree in graphic design and commercial fine art from Antonelli Institute in Pennsylvania. O'Connor works with found pieces and family heirlooms, such as watch faces and clock parts that once belonged to his grandfather and great-grandfather. He scans them into his computer, creates a digital collage with his photography and pairs them with collected objects to create something entirely unique. O'Connor is a fan of merging technology and art in any way possible.
"As a digital artist my new frontier has been experimenting with 3D printing," said O'Connor. "I am always looking for new ways to make my digital work a tangible piece of art."
Enlightening students through the power of creativity and art education, Herquet has devoted most of his career to teaching in Pennsauken elementary schools. The Rowan University graduate earned his bachelor's degree in art education and is an active member of the Gloucester County Art League. The artist considers his most successful oil paintings to be those in which the paint retains its identity in equal parts with the subject-matter it depicts. When he thinks of all the talent throughout the community Herquet feels humbled and honored to be a part of this show. Herquet stresses that rich experiences await those who avail themselves to gallery shows.
"Sir Herbert Read once said, 'We make art in order to discover or construct a more credible reality,'" said Herquet. "Painting gives me a way to participate in the light and color I see in the world, and find points of agreement between myself and others."
"The Affair," "The Big Bang Theory," "Criminal Minds," "Parks & Recreation," and "Two and a Half Men" are just a few examples of television shows that Davis' artwork has been featured on set. A graduate of East Carolina University in North Carolina, Davis earned his bachelor's degree in communication with a minor in art. The artist creates assemblages, collages, drawings and works on paper. Davis will show selected works from his "A Thousand Words" series, which uses the figurative and literal definition consisting of 100, 8-inch by 5-inch collages incorporated with drawings of people. His work features faces executed on newsprint pages from books and novels filled with text and recognizable text-filled debris, elements and objects. The series illustrates the idea that "a picture is worth a thousand words."
"My pieces deal with life itself, such as the people we are, what we create, our capabilities and the issues with which we deal," said Davis. "My premise is to lure the viewer in and place them in a position to reflect on and question their ethics, be it disquieting or placid."
A noted artist, author, curator and educator, Wandless graduated from Arizona State University with his master's degree in fine arts. In addition, he earned his master's degree in art from Minnesota State University–Mankato and bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Delaware. Wandless is the author of "Image Transfer on Clay," co-author of "Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques" with James C. Watkins and contributing author to four other books. Wandless has more than 15 years of teaching experience at various colleges, including Lincoln University, University of Delaware, West Chester University, Rowan University and currently, Harold Washington College in Chicago.
"'Numo Pondering Clay,' 'The Potter and The Blacksmith' and 'Atelier Tableau with Vessel and Kiln' address musing of the artist as craftsman," said Wandless. "My other works are scenes or themes from a collection of myths I am currently writing and will publish as an anthology."
The exhibit runs until Wednesday, Oct. 15 in the Dr. Ross Beitzel Art Gallery, located in the Eugene J. McCaffrey College Center mezzanine. Operating hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 856-415-2122.
Rowan College at Gloucester County is located on a 250-acre campus on Tanyard Road, Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.
Pictured is George Herquet's painting "August Mid-day."