HEART & SOUL, artCentral's first exhibition for 2020 opens Friday, February 7. The Reception with libations and hors d'œuvres, 6:00-8:00 p.m., is for artists and guests and all art lovers! The public is invited. Admission is free.
For February and March, the HEART & SOUL mixed media art of the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition will fill the galleries of Hyde House, upstairs and down. Be sure to view this fine exhibition during weekend gallery hours! Open to the public. Admission is free! For more information call (417) 358-4404 or visit www.artcentralcarthage.org online.
For a recent festive evening a black and white invitation designed with the graphic influence of art deco read, “An Evening of Elegance”. Yes, elegance was the essence of this memorable evening in our small town of Carthage where more than four hundred gathered to celebrate and honor our business, education and community leaders.
Folks were beautifully dressed in individual interpretations of elegance—women in semi-formals and formals to shiny leggings and fashion-forward strappy stilettos—men turned out in ties and tailored suits and tux as well as big brimmed cowboy hats over creased jeans and pointy toed boots.
David and I know Dan’s art through his participation in artCentral’s membership exhibitions. We have enjoyed discovering his paintings at Cherry’s Art Emporium on the Carthage square and on the walls when we have made a pilgrimage to Golden City for a piece of gooseberry pie at Cookie’s. He also shows at the Hawthorn Gallery in downtown Springfield.
A Missouri native son, Dan was born in Sheldon, Missouri, in 1956, and when in the fourth grade moved to Jasper with his family. He studied art at MSSU. More than once he has left Jasper, meandered and returned to his deep Jasper roots. He used his drafting degree to work in the manufacturing industry as a designer and writer. He took career detours, wandered and finally returned home to his heart. In 2000 Dan quit his day job. He opened a pizzeria and painted murals on the wall. His artistic talent was recognized and admired. Dan quit making pizzas and blissfully fell full time into his heart’s desire to paint.
Dan’s oil paintings can be understood as impressionistic realism. They call our attention to the beauty in ordinary scenes of life—those scenes we often overlook. The magic in his brushes is the way he uses the contrasts of light and shadow to celebrate what he wants us to see. He is in good company with Edward Hopper, the creator of “Night Hawks”. With confidently animated strokes Dan can paint water that seems to move and twinkle. With gentle brushing his waters appear to rest in serene and glassy stillness.
Dan is always looking to find a new angle for seeing an old subject or an ordinary object—a child’s doll or a couple of cows or a line of yellow school buses parked in a shed or a hound dog resting with a pair of old cowboy boots.
To recognize the well-deserving Dan McWilliams as the 2019 Artist of the Year is a great honor. Congratulations, Dan!