SAAC is hosting Jonesboro, Arkansas artist John Keech and his exhibition “Tarpit” to the Price Gallery this March. There will be an artist’s reception on Thursday, March 30 from 5:30pm-7:00pm.
A resident of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Keech was born in Winston-Salem North Carolina and raised in Miami, Florida. He earned a B.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa before joining the faculty of Arkansas State University in 1968, where he taught drawing for 40 years. His work has been exhibited in juried and solo exhibitions across the country, and can be found in a diverse range of permanent collections.
Keech sees art—or the possibility of art—everywhere. His medium is reverse painting on glass, in which he rolls a coat of black paint over a sheet of plexiglass and then uses materials of all kinds to remove the paint, leaving a transparent image made by the absence of paint. To remove the paint, Keech uses everything from handmade molds, brushes, and combs to bits of trash, packaging, and found objects. Every neighborhood walk is an opportunity to scan the ground to find the next great item he will incorporate into his artwork.
Keech said, “The tradition of reverse painting on glass is as old as glassmaking itself. In the exhibition most of the images resemble fossils of mysterious creatures. Some are surreal and some are rather humorous. The composite pieces evoke a kind of scientific fantasy. The tarpit is an appropriate inspiration.”
Keech and his wife, Brenda, are parents to Laura, grandparents to Harper and Rosie, and have a black cat named Ace. When he isn’t painting in his attic studio, he can be found fly fishing or playing pickle ball, which he has recently picked up after decades as a tennis player.
For more information on the John Keech exhibit at the South Arkansas Arts Center, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.