DEPARTURES: New Works by Cameron A. Jarvis and Betsy Ruth Byers, will open at the Art Center of St. Peter on August 2. The exhibition of paintings by the two Gustavus artists will be on display at the Art Center through September 8. A reception and artist talk is scheduled at the art center from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 7. The Art Center of St. Peter is open to the public at no charge. The Center is open 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
With the support of a Presidential Grant, Betsy Byers, an assistant professor of art at Gustavus and Cameron Jarvis ’15, have been meeting since April to discuss the theme of “departure” in art. The have been working collaboratively over the past eight weeks, meeting twice a week to talk about their work, and painting in their studios nearly every day. In Cameron’s case, the family’s garage has been converted into a studio for him for the summer.
Awarded through the Kendall Center at Gustavus, Presidential Grants provide faculty and their students with the opportunity to work on major projects. In the visual arts, the grants allow the faculty to dig into important question in their fields of study. For Byers and Jarvis, that question centers on how a project can affect the professional lives of both the teacher and the future artist. For Byers, the departures theme is both a physical and mental connection. Working with images of natural landscapes and shorelines, she sees her work in “departing from her observations and then moving back to them” as she paints.
When asked for his reflections on the summer project, Cameron Jarvis, a junior from Cottage Grove, responded that he didn’t realize how much work it was to create enough paintings for an exhibition and how long it took to simply prepare for it. However, if the amount of time that it took to purchase the wood and attach the canvas surprised him, he was even more surprised about “all the other stuff” that has nothing to do with applying paint to canvas. He didn’t anticipate the time involved in promoting an exhibition: designing postcards, assembling addresses and writing a blog (link to Byers/Jarvis blog). “It’s a lot more work than simply creating paintings” to hang in a gallery.
As this point in the project, Byers is “feeling very comfortable with the project and the quality of the work” and she’s “excited to see the two bodies of work in one space.” Byers and Jarvis will each have between 9 and 11 works in the exhibition with Byers working with acrylic on canvas and Jarvis with oil. Some of the works are as large as 6 feet by 6 feet and others as small as 2 feet square. All deal with the theme of “departure” and how, with different life experiences, two artists can articulate the theme in their work on canvas.
The exhibition will be mounted at the Art Center during the week of July 29 through August 1 and open to the public beginning Friday, August 2. Hours for viewing DEPARTURES: New Works by Cameron A. Jarvis and Betsy Ruth Byers at the Art Center of St. Peter are 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The gallery, located at 315 South Minnesota Avenue in St. Peter, is open to the public at no charge. DEPARTURES: New Works by Cameron A. Jarvis and Betsy Ruth Byers will be open to the public from August 2 – September 8.