Roscoe artist on scene at 317 Market Street Gallery

Roscoe artist on scene at 317 Market Street Gallery


Roscoe artist Ward Sterett will be among four dozen artists invited to participate in “Brainscapes,” an exhibit hosted by the 317 Market Street Gallery, as part of the Rockford Area Art Council’s ArtScene 2001. The 317 Market Street loft building, opened by Artistic Director Deborah Newton in 1985, houses 20 resident and working artists, as well as the gallery.

Ray Schulz, guest curator for the current show, asked the invited artists to “create images of inner reaches of their imaginings and experiences… (to) give the viewer a visual roller coaster ride.” The collection will include paintings, sculpture, photography, collage, assemblages which Newton describes as multi-media works that are “diverse, intimate and edgy.” She says Sterett was invited to show his works because his subject matter and style work well with the exhibit’s theme.

One of Sterett’s two entries is a classical wood sculpture entitled “Walking in the Wind,” an exciting portrait of the artist’s wife. “It’s an intimate piece,” says Sterett, “because of its size and its subject matter. You don’t see much in wood carvings these days—certainly not at art schools.” The piece is about 2-1/2 feet tall and, one viewer says, “it evokes emotion because it is so alive and fluid.” Sterett’s second entry is a large oil landscape entitled “Hard Rain,” which depicts a serene Midwestern farmland, overshadowed by swirling ominous storm clouds. “This is a typical view of impending doom, where reality follows art, when the art is based in truth,” explains the artist. “It shows weather out of control. Our automatic response is a sense of excitement and helplessness,” says Sterett.

Sterett’s work has been prized among private collectors in the Rockford area, but this is the first year his work will be on public display at the 317 Market Street Gallery.

“When I was invited for this year’s exhibit, I decided it’s time to begin creating more work for other people,” he said. “Up until now, my volume of fine art has been low, and has mostly been available privately, by word of mouth.”

Sterett’s focus has been primarily illustration and commercial art until recently, when he began concentrating on oil paintings, especially about Midwestern landscapes and weather, and on wood sculpture.

“Brainscapes” opens with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5, continues on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 3 to 9 p.m., and will be available after the opening weekend through November by appointment.

For more information, or to make an appointment for the show after its public opening, call the Gallery’s hotline and message center at 968-3174.

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