Freeport Arts Center

Freeport, IL



Surrealist Paintings by Marvin Messing and Realism or Not


Freeport Arts Center hosts the opening reception for two new exhibitions Friday, October 1, 1999, 5-7 p.m. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served. The opening reception is an opportunity to view these new exhibits, Surrealist Paintings by Marvin Messing and Realism or Not, and to meet the five artists represented in Realism or Not. Both exhibitions will be featured through November 14, 1999. (left: Marvin Messing, The Song of the Young; below left: Barbara Burns, Lydia)

Marvin "Skeez" Messing was born in Freeport in 1922. He was a student of the late Merl Blackwood at Freeport High School, before studying at the Art Institute of Chicago. After serving in the Navy in World War II, Mary and his wife Ann returned to Freeport and joined the family business, Messing and Becker Sporting Goods. In 1985, he retired to Whitefish, Montana, where he now teaches painting and portraiture at Flathead Valley Community College.

Surrealist Paintings by Marvin Messing includes 22 surrealist paintings by Messing. Surrealism is a 20th century literary and artistic movement that attempts to express the workings of the subconscious and is characterized by fantastic imagery and juxtaposition of subject and matter. Messing describes his work, "The dreamlike landscapes with the blend of reality and fantasy is the environment for introspection. The subject of most of my work concerns some aspect of the 'human condition'-that struggle between the noble nature of man and his darker side. Thus the human figure is present (or symbolized) in nearly all of my canvases."

Realism or Not includes paintings by five women artists from the Rockford area: Christy Andres, Jean Apgar, Barbara Burns, Jeannette Fay and Peg Sowle. The five women are diverse in background and style, but similar in dedication and dream. Christy Andres has been teaching art classes for 30 years in the Rockford Area, including Art Guild of Rockford and the Rockford Art Museum. She finds her deepest feelings, observations and sorrows are quietly revealed in her paintings of children. Jean Apgar has exhibited internationally, and has recently been selected for membership in the prestigious National Association of Women Artists. Her hand-painted silk scarves and watercolors are based on animal imagery. Barbara Burns loosely interprets her subject matter, producing exuberant celebrations of her innermost thoughts and emotions. Her subject matter is reinterpreted, but recognizable. Jeannette Fay incorporates the color, patterns and forms of nature, enlarged for intimate focus. Her oils and watercolors bring a new perspective to an ordinary subject. Peg Sowle's portraits of people and animals are a quest to find and portray the individuality and soul of each of her subjects.

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This page was originally published in 1999 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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