'Evening Harvest' is a painting by Oshkosh artist Jon Wos. It's part of the 'Atmosphere & Attitude' exhibit at the Richeson School of Art & Gallery, Kimberly.
As the new year approaches, Richeson School of Art & Gallery is debuting its new Regional Exhibit Gallery to showcase the work of Wisconsin artists on a regular basis.
"There's a shortage of galleries in this area that are large enough to show a wide body of work," said gallery director Rachel Kramer. "This area ... will allow for group shows for artists as well as individual shows. It's going to give a lot more of the local artists more of a professional presentation of their work."
"Atmosphere & Attitude," an exhibit featuring the work of Kaukauna artist Patt Huss and Oshkosh artist Jon Wos, is the first exhibit in the Regional Exhibit Gallery.
It's on display through Jan. 5 at Richeson School of Art & Gallery, 557 Marcella St., Kimberly. Admission is free.
Kramer chose Huss and Wos to inaugurally represent the Regional Exhibit Gallery because they are among those who have volunteered as Richeson School of Art & Gallery's guest artists at community events.
"Jon (Wos) has very detailed work, a very traditional technique," Kramer said. "Patt (Huss) was very traditional but now is branching out somewhat and has a more contemporary look to her pieces."
The artists, who primarily paint in oils, put their heads together to name the 50-piece exhibit "Atmosphere & Attitude."
"My work is mostly about mood, atmosphere and changes," said Huss. "My work is moving to become freer and more abstract, with more emotion in each brush stroke."
For one piece, "Storms," Huss painted from photographs she took while supporting a friend who had struggled with health issues.
"One day she was walking out in Milwaukee on the water and there was a huge storm, and the storm had just passed and the sun was coming out," Huss said. "I thought, the atmosphere was stormy and now it's changing to sunshine as well as ... she is well on her way to recovery."
Other paintings came into being when Huss spent time working in the apartment where her late sister Donna Conrad used to live.
"I was doing a still life of things she had, and I was really struggling, and finally I just wiped it off and started painting," Huss said. "There are two paintings of clouds and storms and sun shining through. ... I felt that she was with me all the while. ... I just started putting paint on the canvas and that's what happened."
Attitude is a big part of Wos' outlook on both life and art.
"I think my style came about from my life," said Wos, 31, a full-time artist who lives with osteogenesis imperfecta, a congenital condition that causes bones to become fragile and break easily. "... My childhood was riddled with lots of fractures and surgeries and hospitals. I used my art even way back then as a way to give myself something to look forward to. That has transformed, I think, into my style, in the sense when I say we shouldn't think about suffering or suffer more than we need to. I have a certain attitude ... that we should be positive about life. I think of my art as showing people how to have a positive attitude in life, whether it's just simple things like apples. I want to show you the best way ... you can imagine those apples."
The exhibit includes Wos' self-portraits, portraits of friends and his dog, and still life paintings.
"I like to paint not huge still life paintings but just one bowl of apples, or some books with an apple ... silver tea sets," Wos said. "I like the intimate feel. They definitely have an atmosphere with the lighting I used, and they make you want to eat the apple or drink the tea. ... They're very realistic, enticing."
Wos says one self-portrait, titled "The Fire Within," is the first in a series of paintings he has planned.
"That one's about keeping that fire within you lit, and it's your job to keep it going," he said. "You have to figure out how, what drives it."
Kramer is extending an invitation to artists who are interested in submitting their work for consideration to show in the Regional Exhibit Gallery.
Application materials, including requirements for prospective exhibiting artists, will be available after Jan. 1.
- Kara Patterson's Words of Art column focuses on Fox Valley arts. She's reachable at 920-993-1000, ext. 215, or email@example.com; on Twitter @KaraNPatterson