Local artist Gary Hall will exhibit The Song of the Oil and the Brush in the Lobby Gallery September 30-October 31 with an artist reception on Saturday, September 30, 5-6:30pm.
This work is a personal retrospective of sorts to celebrate my journey from dark to light. It will take you from the overtly religious to the obliquely profane as I relive the journey from “can’t” to “can”; from question to ambiguous answer. Some pieces are dark and uncomfortable, while others are fun and celebratory of the joy of life. All of them carry an aura of theatricality, because that’s who I am.
Earlier this year, I was re-introduced to Kate Bush’s A Sky of Honey (Disc 2, Aerial), and I was inspired by her likening the artist’s process to the journey from morning to night. Thus, much of her music has inspired my pieces. My media is like my prospective; unlimited. I have found beauty in the brilliance of shine and dazzle, as well as beauty in the texture of decay. All the individual items are found items that I have given a chance to speak, much like the second chance given me. I hope you find inspiration in the color and in the recycled “junk” I have chosen for my work. I think tactilely, and all of my pieces are full of texture and beg to be touched.
Life is a journey….we all experience color from the vibrancy of youth to maturity, and then through the long day’s journey into night. This art cycle represents that motif. From the glory of creation to our daily rotation around the sun, each of these pieces marks a milestone in my own journey. My journey took an abrupt turn two years ago when I received a medical diagnosis that threatened to rob me of my ability to do the two things I loved most: theatre and art. Considering my finger dexterity was one of the last abilities to return, this work not only celebrates the joy of touch, but it also revels in it without apology or restraint. It’s celebration!
I also became fascinated by the healing value of water, which became another motif. Water is our source of life and holds potential for death (as witnessed last month). Water has been my nemesis and my comfort in a strange dichotomy that is both soothing and reinvigorating, even life-restoring, while also majestic, dangerous and deadly.
Two years may not seem like a long time, but it’s been a lifetime of experiences for me. Come and join my journey, and hopefully you will find the song of the oil and the brush.
Believe it or not, Gary Hall has been involved with art at the Arts Center longer than he has with the theatre. He began studying art at age 7 under Ruth Denny. He continued his training in public schools under such Arts Center legends as Dinah VanHook and Gay Bechtelheimer. He continued his study in art at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where he earned his degree in radio, tv and film. He has a Master of Arts in Theatre from Louisiana Tech University.
He currently teaches classes in theatre and speech at SouthArk. He is a member of First United Methodist Church where he is a certified lay speaker and active member of the choir. He is currently serving his fourth term as chairman of the Theatre Committee at SAAC. In 2015, he was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis and is thankful to have the opportunity and the ability to use this show as therapy and victory. He is owned by three dogs, Max, Angus and Toby. He is the son of Bob and Jane Hall and brother to Susan, and he would like to thank them for their support and encouragement during this process.
He would like to acknowledge Kelly Campbell for opening the door to the world of pastels. He also wants to thank Sandy Bennett for her encouragement and tutelage in new media. Finally, he would like to thank all the people who have kept the South Arkansas Arts Center up and running so he can live his dream. He is living proof that your support matters and launches dreams that last a lifetime.