Perceptions to Run Rampant as Crary Art Gallery Opens New Exhibit on April 6

April 1, 2024

WARREN, Pa. – What you see is not always what you paint. What you paint is not always what you see. From April 6 – May 5, two exhibiting artists will display their perceptions at the Crary Art Gallery.

Heidi Brueckner’s exhibition, “Poetic Personage: Portraits by Heidi Brueckner” will explore human nature’s relationship to storytelling. Whereas Ken Karlic’s body of work, “Oil and Water,” will challenge you to consider the concept of essence. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 6, from 5 – 7 p.m. with artists scheduled to speak at 6 p.m. The Crary Art Gallery is open to visitors on Fridays and Saturdays from Noon – 6 p.m. and on Sundays from Noon – 4 p.m. during exhibitions. Admission is always free

Brueckner’s work studies the characteristics that frame the making of humanity. Personality, appearance, actions, and interactions are just a few. These characteristics encompass both internal and external attributes. Brueckner seeks to honor those who are under-revered and portrays them with dignity in her work. She has noticed that color can be used as an “equalizer” and, therefore, divorces color from naturalism. Skin tones, and the colors of other items in the painting, appear in interesting but unrealistic shades.

When asked about humanity’s relation to storytelling, Brueckner states, “The storyline certainly is left open to the viewer to create their own interpretation about the subjects portrayed.”

The viewer is left to ponder questions such as, “What kind of person is this?”; “What is their background?”; “What is their personality like?”; “Why are they placed in those particular surroundings?”, “What is their body language saying?”; “How do they present themselves?” and is permitted to write their own story about the image they see.

Although she has extensive experience painting from life, the portraits in this series are from photographs of family, friends, and people with whom she had some social interaction. Each portrait holds within it distinct characteristics of each person.

Karlic exhibits regularly in the Mid-Atlantic region as well as painting in national juried plein air events. Karlic’s education consists of graphic design, painting, and architecture. Blending these disciplines allows him to create a unique style all his own. His exhibition, “Oil and Water,” will draw the viewer into a perception that starts with form and ends in a state of disarrangement.

Descending into chaos is usually considered a bad thing; but not when discussing a Karlic painting. Beginning with a structured drawing, marks, scratches, and drips work their way in to create a physical presence that is the final piece. Karlic’s approach to a subject involves a mix of representational realism and a variety of abstraction. Structural detail is abandoned in favor of the essence of a subject.

When asked how he knows if or when he has captured a subject’s essence Karlic stated, “It’s an intuitive feeling type of thing. Sometimes you come across something really special.”

Both artists express different perceptions of the world around them. Although their work is markedly different, they each explore what makes up a person, or what makes up a place.

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