Today’s first involved a trip to the library, and further, to the Post Memorial Art Reference Library, to view the August art exhibit. This month’s featured artist is Jesse McCormick. I wasn’t familiar with Jesse’s style or preferred medium. We had just become Facebook friends, so I looked forward to seeing his artwork.
Jesse is a Carthage artist, associated with Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, in downtown Joplin. According to the bio on Local Color’s webpage, most of Jesse’s paintings and drawings are in private collections. He has won awards for his work. He sometimes teaches art classes at Local Color and participates in the Third Thursday art walks. His vision emphasizes people, animals, rocks, trees and water. Light as color and contrast are important aspects of his work.
I enjoyed the exhibit. On display were several portraits, including a whimsical Mona Lisa, and other wonderful paintings of groups of people and fish in a bowl. I like and appreciate Jesse’s use of light. The bright, vivid colors of his paintings draw the eye. I stood before the piece titled “Luncheon of the Boating Party” and lost myself in it, studying each person captured on the canvas.
My favorite Jesse McCormick painting, today, was titled “Matt Chaimovitz in Concert at Phoenix Fired Art”. Jesse portrays the musician as he is absorbed in his performance. An audience sits with their backs to the observer. The colors of this piece were more subtle with the brightest hues surrounding Matt, making him the object of my attention. I could almost hear the music drift out over the hushed crowd as I studied this painting.
The Mona Lisa portrait was fun. And I wondered about the painting titled “Mollie Sanders”. I know a Mollie Sanders. This could be her. She is involved in Joplin Little Theater. And I know her parents. I will have to ask Jesse about this beautiful girl that he has painted.
I so appreciate the Post Memorial Art Reference Library. It truly is a hidden gem in Joplin. Each month I enjoy the featured artist’s exhibit and from viewing their work and blogging about the experience, I have made new friends. On the Local Color website, Jesse is quoted as saying, “I move my inner vision out where others may see it and it may remain for a while. I paint people, nature, and light. I convert what seems to be chaos into a visionary experience. The magic of painting makes imagination visible.” I love that! I look forward to more of Jesse’s impressive work as he brings the vision in his imagination into visible form.