Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, May 3, 2013 from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for May 2013. This month, ACT Gallery will feature a “Smorgasbord of Art” by Brian Christensen, Abstracts by Sally Clarke and a group exhibit by ACT Member Artists. Come downtown to view great art and support ACT Gallery and Boutique.
Juicy Lucy's by Brian Christensen
Brian Christensen was born in Chicago and raised in the farmlands of northern Illinois. He had his first exposure to art at age four when his older cousin showed him how to highlight with a white crayon in his Huckleberry Hound coloring book. At age eight, it was discovered that Brian’s eyesight was deteriorating rapidly. He overheard his optometrist explain to his mother that he would likely be blind by his twenties. Brian kept his grief at the news to himself and plodded along with thick glasses for the next decade, a boy without hope or ambitions, not much was known in the medical community of his rare and peculiar eye maladies. By age eighteen, there were no glasses that would allow Brian to see clearly. He was fitted and refitted repeatedly with ill-fitting gas permeable contact lenses enduring unimaginable pain at the slightest speck of dust and extreme photosensitivity. Diagnosed with Keratoconus, a thickening of the cornea due to the buildup of scar tissue was just one of his eye diseases. His vision with naked eyes was 20/1400 and 20/2100. Brian’s eyesight moved to another little known chart with readings of -8 rt. and -12 lt. Brian relocated to Fort Myers in 1988. In 1991, he underwent a cornea transplant in his left eye. The procedure prevented his cornea from rupturing and destroying his eyeball but did not improve his vision. In 2012, Brian was in such excruciating pain with his right eye that he could only wear his lenses for short durations a couple of times a week. The short times he could wear lenses he would paint. He was in the midst of executing his "My Cheeky Muse" painting. He was faced with what he called “having a going blind sale". His eye doctor fitted him with a SCLERAL lens (Google it) and ever since he sees great and has not experienced an iota of pain.
After moving to Fort Myers, he found himself under the wing of local sculptor Don Wilkinson and renowned pastel portrait artist Greg Biolchini. His eyesight soon caused him to delve into self-study. After seventeen years as a civil engineer, Brian was laid-off allowing him to advance his career as a professional artist. He earned a first place ribbon soon after joining the art scene. He also joined the Alliance of the Arts. During the past three years, Brian has earned numerous awards of varying degrees at local art exhibitions including a second place at Big Arts for his first attempt at sculpture. He works in "found objects" as his eyes cannot cope with welding or any type of dusts.
The majority of his work is acrylic painting. While he does appreciate the works of major artists such as Polack, Dali, Picasso and various album cover artists of his youth, he must say that his most overwhelming influence is his lifelong struggle to see without pain and appreciates the wonders revealed by the Hubble telescope. Brian’s style is bold, colorful, thick and imaginative. He loves to experiment with materials, tools, and dealing with time restraints. He attempts works that provoke emotion, thought or even a chuckle. His future endeavors include continuing with his "Red Guitar" series, and a new series of large works depicting the juxtaposition of odd objects in outer space, a pallet knife bamboo series, building more "found objects" sculptures and plein air speed painting. Brian signs his works with his middle name, Bent.
ACT Gallery will host a workshop on the use of the pallet knife in June. Sign up at the gallery. Brian’s work is owned and enjoyed by many local patrons and travelers from many states, Canada and various European nations.
Sally Clark was born in King’s Lynn, Great Britain in England. She loved to haunt London museums and galleries as a young girl, studying the old masters’ works. She studied at Norwich School of Art. Sally describes her work as high key and intense. She has always been interested in figure painting but the narrative aspect has become less important to her. Sally tries to express the subconscious self by changing the figure into a physical and psychological being. Her very intense pictures reveal the humanity the nerve-ends of a person. She moved to the USA in 1994and to Fort Myers in 2009, new ideas often keep her working through-out the night. Sally paints abstract landscapes and portraits in oils, mixed media and charcoal.
ACT Member Artists Annual Group Exhibit will spotlight the new works from Alan Tiller, Kyra Belan, Lynn Van Sciver, Lana Picciano, Cavan Guenther, Linda Benson, Susan Mills and Carol Anfinsen. Works shown will range from abstract to realism in a wide variety of mediums. These pieces of art represent the creative energy that you will find ongoing at Arts for ACT Gallery.