Ouachita Baptist University’s Hammons Gallery will host a guest artist exhibit Aug. 24-Sept. 18. The exhibit, “Perspectives on Painting: Dolores Justus, Carey Roberson and Steven Wise,” features three Arkansas artists and is curated by Donnie Copeland, OBU assistant professor of visual arts.
An opening reception for the exhibit will be held in the gallery on Thursday, Aug. 27, from 6-7:30 p.m.
“For this exhibit I am selecting three prominent Arkansas artists whose main work is in painting,” Copeland said. “I have viewed the work of these artists around the state in various settings, but have never seen them together in one place. As a result, I wanted to create a forum where both their work and the ideas I have about their work—and what the work represents—could be brought together in a public presentation.”
“To be able to show with Delores Justus (whose work I have admired for a long time) and Steven Wise was all it took for me to accept the invitation from professor Copeland,” Roberson said. “Each of us have extremely different styles of painting, ranging from abstraction to figurative narrative, so it will be really interesting to see not just the differences in our work, but the subtle similarities.”
Roberson, an Arkadelphia native, looks forward to the show for other reasons, as well. “In addition to being associated with the other artists, I was excited to be showing here in town at OBU,” he said. “Showing here actually gives me a chance to show my family and friends exactly the type of work I do and for them to also be part of the exhibit.
“My works are short, quiet narratives about family, faith and how being a Christian (both the joys and difficulties) entwine all aspects of my life,” Roberson continued. “Being that my Christian faith is a huge part of my work, it will be really interesting to see how Ouachita’s audience responds to the work. As you can tell, I am pretty enthusiastic about the show in many ways.”
Wise, an art teacher in the Rogers, Ark., public school district, also voiced enthusiasm about the exhibit and interacting with the Ouachita community. “This exhibition has afforded me a generous amount of time to discuss my art work and studio practice with Donnie Copeland,” he said. “The exhibition process—selecting artwork and preparing the art for exhibition—has been very rewarding. OBU has some great studio spaces, and I look forward to meeting some of your students.”
When discussing their work, each of the three artists is bringing a different perspective to the exhibit.
Dolores Justus is a painter, gallery owner and graphic designer from Hot Springs, Ark. Regarding her art, Justus said, “Every element in nature is unique, yet there is something in it and in us all that we recognize and respond to. It is those universal aspects that I seek to communicate.”
“My current creative work is a combination of two passions in my life: digital photography and painting,” Roberson said. “I use the computer to alter realities or create new ones. I want the work to be what I envision in my mind, not what is physically there at the moment. … The painting processes that I apply to my work allow for my thoughts or visions to finally become concrete; once they are dried glazes of paint they become real and their true secrets are revealed.”
“My most recent work was inspired by my personal feelings and perceptions about the environment in which I was raised—the Southern landscape,” Wise noted. “In addition to exploring my personal history, I was interested in exploring how a painter can combine different modes of representation on the same canvas.”
Dolores Justus earned her B.A. in fine arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and her work has been featured in solo, group and juried exhibitions nationally. She is a contributor to the book 200 Great Painting Ideas (Northlight Books) and Artist’s Magazine, and has been featured in other various publications. She opened Justus Fine Art Gallery in Hot Springs, Ark., in 2004 and, as an accomplished graphic designer and writer, also owns and operates Justus Design & Marketing. For more information about Justus, visit www.justusfineart.com.
Carey Roberson is a painter, photographer and associate professor of art at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He earned his B.F.A. in studio art at Henderson State University and his M.F.A. in photography at Louisiana Tech University. Prior to teaching at UALR, he taught at Hot Springs High School and Henderson State University. His work has been featured in solo, group and juried exhibitions nationally, and he has earned awards for his photographic, studio and graphic art throughout the region. He has contributed work to multiple publications including CMYK Magazine. For more information about Roberson, visit www.careyroberson.com.
Steven Wise earned his B.A. at Swarthmore College and M.F.A. at the University of Iowa. He was also studied at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. His work has been featured in solo, group and juried exhibitions throughout the United States and England and has earned many awards and critical reviews both regionally and nationally.
For more information about “Perspectives on Painting,” contact Donnie Copeland at email@example.com or by phone at (870) 245-5559.
By Brooke Showalter, OBU Assistant Director of Communications