Exhibit to feature works by local artist Michael Walsh
WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Works by local artist Michael Walsh will be featured in a free exhibit Oct. 23 through Nov. 12 at The Gallery on the Mezzanine at the West Plains Civic Center.
The exhibit is being hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains’ University/Community Programs (U/CP) Department. A “meet the artist” reception is set for 2 p.m. Oct. 27 in the civic center’s Magnolia Room. All are invited.
Walsh describes his artwork as “expressive poetic truth. Light and color play a key role in areas of focus or interest. It is important to put down or sit down the pigment with crisp intent so as to give the work a sense of life, movement and place.”
He said he encourages audience participation through contributing their own personal experiences to the motif during the viewing process, thus enlarging their connection with the painting. “The statements made through color are clearly a visual language that can meet the viewer on a variety of different levels,” he explained. “The pieces can be benchmarks and reminders for many.
“Simplicity is the key to presenting meaningful statements through gradations of hue, saturation, value, temperature and intensity,” he continued. “The act of painting is really an act of worship. The heart must always be behind every motif painted.”
Some of Walsh’s favorite painters include Edgar Degas, Edgar Payne, Clyde Aspevig, Dennis Doheny, Matt Smith, Josh Eliot, Winslow Homer, Kathryn Stats, Ralf Oberg, Bill Anton, Tucker Smith, Richard Schmid, Mian Situ and Scott Christensen. “It is in the way they collectively manage and orchestrate scale, perspective and recession in their landscape paintings,” Walsh explained.
Born in 1952, Walsh’s journey to becoming a professional artist has been unconventional. In order to support a family, he worked 30 years as a graphic designer. Ten years ago, however, he was challenged to pursue his passion. His professional goals now are to facilitate workshops, continue instructing others in the craft, and finding broader recognition of his work through gallery representation, he said. He also said his life is blessed with his wife, his sons and their families.
Walsh has received several awards and honors for his artwork. His “Strong City SF Railroad Depot” painting was selected as artwork for a Kansas Lottery Scratchers ticket in 2011 to celebrate the state’s sesquicentennial. In 2010, his pieces “Fall Dreams” and “Home” were winners at the MidAmerica Pastel National Exhibition and Competition. His artwork also has received awards from the Paint America Association’s “Paint the Parks” competition; Arts for the Parks Top 100 Award – Bronze Medallion Marine Art Award of Merit; and the best of show award in the Commerce Bank on the Plaza Blue Ribbon Art Show in Kansas City. He served as a judge and demonstrator at the Blue Springs Fine Art Show in March 2009, and his piece “Red Onions” was published in the June/July 2005 issue of International Artist Magazine.
Walsh has made presentations to art organizations and taught university-level courses in drawing, painting and color theory. He is an active master pastelist and signature member of the MidAmerica Pastel Society, a member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast, Pastel Society of New Mexico, the Greater Kansas City Art Association, and the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society.
He also has donated his artwork to raise money for scholarships and charitable organizations, including MidAmerica Nazarene University’s Autumn Auction, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral Dean’s Cup Auction; the KCPT auction; Plains permanent collection at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; the Yellow House and Missouri State-West Plains.
“Michael is an extremely talented artist, and we’re thrilled to be able to showcase his talent to the community, said U/CP Director Brenda Malkowski. “This exhibit is a great opportunity for area residents to see some great works of art.”
For more information about the exhibit or other upcoming U/CP events, visit wp.missouristate.edu/upc/ or call 417-255-7966.