ALTON, IL – August 16, 2012 – Jacoby Arts Center’s next featured exhibition in the main gallery, A Group Show: Rural Minds Inspiring Design, opens on Friday, August 24 with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. and runs through Saturday, September 29, 2012. Featuring the works of artists Christopher Brennan, Ben Cohan, and David Linneweh, the exhibit’s influence of rural living is interpreted very uniquely through the eyes of each of these artists. A gallery talk, where the artists share the stories behind their works, will be held on Thursday, September 13 at 7 p.m. The opening reception, exhibition, and gallery talk are all free and open to the public.

Christopher Brennan, a faculty member at Lewis and Clark Community College, states that the act of painting provides an opportunity to delve into one’s subconscious. Whether an image is derived from direct observation or entirely from the imagination, there are forces at work that immerse the painter in a silent internal dialogue between the seen and the unseen, the deliberate and the intuitive, the tangible and the ethereal.

Brennan’s work attempts to embrace these dichotomies through the manipulation of observed elements of rather mundane daily experience with the amorphous needs of the painting. While he typically begin with a variety of photos and sketches of the built environment as source material, his painting process usually involves a significant reorganization of these components, a process that seems to be purely intuitive and which often results in an image that is at once “real” and imagined. Brennan, of Godfrey, Illinois received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Kansas State University.

Artist Ben Cohan’s work “Rurality” is an ongoing body of work that presents the viewer with visual miscues by reorganizing physical space into the two-dimensional place of the painting. Due to a concerted effort to oppose & distort the conventions of actual space (linear perspective, vanishing points, horizon lines, atmosphere, directional light, etc.) these works present the viewer with a shift in perception. The readability of the image teeters between abstraction & realism, allowing the surface to be gazed at and not through. Cohan’s studio is based in Sullivan, Illinois and he completed his Master of Fine Arts degree at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The work of artist David Linneweh is a perfect example of the mind’s ability to fill in the gaps of an untold story. The story is all too familiar to us because it is in all of our memories. In fact, it is our past, present, and future. Linneweh carefully renders architectural landscapes on bare wood supports. The materials Linneweh chooses for his work even suggests the cycle of our ever-changing environment. A type of chronology is present within these bodies of work. “It is from these pieces that we can share dialogue regarding the relationships we have within our communities and the landscape we inhabit,” says Linneweh of Shorewood, Illinois who also completed his MFA at SIUC. When viewing the work you get an overwhelming feeling that you have seen these places before but can never see them again. The buildings have come down faster than they went up and the place where we all once were can never be visited again.

Jacoby Arts Center, featuring an art gallery exhibiting artists from throughout the region, is free and open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., late on Thursdays until 8 p.m., and closed on Sundays and Mondays. The Center is located at 627 East Broadway in Alton, Illinois. For more information, visit www.jacobyartscenter.org or call 618-462-5222.

Jacoby Arts Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster the artistic development and economic success of artists, and to expand accessibility to the arts through programs that promote education, participation and exploration.

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