Camden Falls Gallery will open the new exhibit “Conflicts in Compositions?” at 5 p.m. Aug. 19, in conjunction with the Camden Art Walk. The show features work by Ken DeWaard and Ryan Kohler. There will be an artist presentation and discussion open to the public at approximately 6 p.m. This presentation will take place outdoors, weather permitting.
There is really no conflict involved in the show. It’s more of a juxtaposition of the paths these two artists travel when creating their artwork. The show sheds light on an artist’s initial insight when first moved by a muse. They find inspiration and record it on canvas in their own way.
Ryan Kohler, who lives in Skowhegan, has had a short but impressive run in the art field. Since graduating with a BA in art from the University of Maine Augusta in 2011, Kohler started working in oils in 2018, just prior to joining the gallery.
He explores a wide range of subject matter, and his designs and executions have broadened this past winter to include the addition and application of colored paper in collage format, as if brushstrokes, adding volume and texture to the composition. His new works are bright, lively and fun.
“I’ve always liked puzzles, and now my paintings are a bit like puzzles to me,” Kohler says, “except I get to make my own pieces, and they don’t have to fit exactly. In fact, things are much more interesting when I am imprecise but in a fun and still descriptive way. Charmingly incorrect is what I’ve been shooting for with this entire body of work. When I am being too literal and too careful with my cutting and gluing, the paintings don’t breathe as well and feel uptight and labored.”
Ken DeWaard has spent more than 30 years studying and teaching art and painting professionally around the world. DeWaard has painted throughout Europe and China, and in 2019, participated in “The International Plein Air Competition” in St. Petersburg, Russia. DeWaard was one of the 11 artists chosen to paint at the “Saint Petersburg Art Week International,” which represents artwork from over 20 countries.
From all of these painting excursions, DeWaard brings his talents in plein-air painting to the forefront but returns home, bringing with him the influences, techniques and styles of various artists from around the world.
In his travels throughout the U.S., he has taken top honors in some of the country’s most prestigious plein-air events, including the Charles Movalli award in 2018 at the Cape Ann Plein Air event and winning first place in 2019 at the same event.
“I’m not trying to give all the details but enough to where the viewer can finish the story in their mind and through their experiences,” DeWaard says of his work. “Design is incredibly important to me, to tell a story through my work and lead the viewer around the painting and then back to the focal point.”
The show runs through Sept. 2.
Camden Falls Gallery is at 5 Public Landing in Camden. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Call 207-470-7027, email [email protected], or go to www.camdenfallsgallery.com for more information.