‘A dream theme of flying’–Scott Long at Paragon

It’s worth your while to check out local artist Scott Long’s show, Friday, April 2, at Paragon. Surprisingly, this is Long’s first solo exhibition although he has participated in many group exhibitions. Sadly, Long’s first solo show will be the last exhibit for Paragon’s gallery space.

Known primarily as a sculptor, Long’s exhibition diverges from his past work, incorporating sculptural forms with photography and mixed-two-dimensional media. The pieces are the results of his new interest in digital photography and manipulating digital images. “It’s very close to working with clay;you’re able to push and pull things. It’s another tool to get you where you want to go,” Long says of his experiments with PhotoShop.

Another difference from previous work is that the new artworks share more of a common theme, “a dream theme of flying,” along with themes peculiar to each piece. As a whole, the body of work suggests not only renewal, but the personal meaning and mystery of dreams. Long describes recurring dreams of flying with the help of machinery and vehicles, of always needing some help in pushing off from the ground. He is uncertain whether the surreal, evocative images you can create with PhotoShop were the catalyst for flying dreams, or whether dreams inspired the artwork.

Many pieces include elements of Long’s sculpture in the form of clay human and animal figures, some of which were molded and fired years ago and resurrected for the new work. The figures are suspended against their framed space, against backdrops that might suggest the sky, windows, or space.

While he has no plans to discontinue with sculpture, Long considers mixed media and photography “always an option for the future.” He describes the show as “scary, cumbersome, and controversial.”

Come see for yourself. Scott Long’s exhibition will be at Paragon Restaurant 205 West State St., from Friday, April 2 to Saturday, May 29.

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