The Main Gallery features “WARREN DENNIS: The Figure Evolves”. Warren Dennis is a Winston-Salem artist who was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1927. He received his Bachelor of Art from the University of Southern Mississippi and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Mississippi. While there, he had the opportunity to study with visiting artists Jack Tworkov and David Smith. He continued his education with special study under Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the University of Minnesota and a special study of lithography under Reginald Neal at Rutgers University. Warren has been teaching art since 1955.
His first position was at Judson College in Marion, Alabama. He then switched to Appalachian State University in Boone until he retired from teaching in 1993. He was the Chairperson for Appalachian State’s Department of Art from 1980 to 1984. Warren’s many exhibitions, solo and group shows, prizes and awards would make a listing of many pages. His work is represented in many corporate and private collections, including the Hickory Museum of Art’s permanent collection. His paintings have been featured on Charles Kuralt’s Sunday Morning TV program, as well as in Southern Living Magazine.
Dennis’ paintings are rendered with an expression of a moment in time or a suggestion of an unspoken feeling or emotion. After a lifetime of painting “ordinary people doing ordinary things” in his elongated style, Dennis in true artist fashion decided to try something new. His cubist paintings are based on the work of Picasso who over 100 years ago created the technique, but unlike Picasso, the paintings of Dennis are more personable and identifiable.
About his cubist style work, Dennis says, “These came to me in a dream and developed rapidly into drawing studies that evolved into my paintings. My entire body of work is a meditation on the American Spirit which I have seen in its humor, complexity, struggles, and above all, in its unquenchable determination to triumph over adversity. All my work is personal and it all has personality – That’s what I try to get across”.
Artist Statement: “The human image is obviously the central factor in my work. These figures and faces result from years of effort - a careful honing, by trial and error, to gain a specific effect. By now, these people are all mine. They confront each other, they stand alone in contemplation or amazement, or they are sometimes simply asleep. My concerns are with showing dignity and humor and innocence as they affect us, and with the robust, absurd gestures we make to reveal ourselves. With our backs to each other or face-to-face, we show and try to hide our feelings. I would like for these paintings to go beyond the image, to involve the viewer in a pure way. Even though the figures are distorted, I hope the public is confronted by these people as if they were real people. This sense of dramatic presence is what I always work toward.”
Gallery B hosts “COFFEE OR COCKTAIL: An Occasional Table Exhibition”. Extraordinary, beautiful, unique, creative; whatever word you use, this ubiquitous form of furniture has become the centerpiece of every modern home’s living room or family room. Through the years they’ve gone from being called “coffee table” to “cocktail table” and back again depending on the popularity of the beverage and its legality. Coffee? or cocktail?; you decide. Come see what decades of design creativity have produced in an exhibit curated by the American Society of Furniture Designers and the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library.
In this exhibition you will see a mix of whimsy, cutting-edge creativity, classic midcentury design, the best in industrial design, a brief look into our history updated for modern times, Scandinavian and Oriental design influences and clean architecturally sculptured forms; A broad cross-section that has something for everybody.
This exhibition will include images, created by some of the industry’s top photographic artists, capturing the tables in unique and unexpected ways, truly exploring the occasional table as an art form. High Point, NC is the Furniture Capital of the World, the epicenter of decorative arts, and a ﬁtting home for this unique exhibition.
AMERICAN GOTHIC - Portraits in Charcoal by Rich Furmanski (1931-2015) is featured in the Hallway Gallery. A native of Calumet City, IL, Rich began his fine art and commercial art career with a scholarship to the Kansas City Art Institute (MO). After serving in Korea he attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago where he studied design and illustration and apprenticed at one of the largest illustration studios. He then studied at Los Angeles Art Center and School of Design.
Rich came to High Point in 1959 to join an advertising agency in the capacity of Art Director and later Vice President (He planned to stay in North Carolina two years but liked the weather and married his wife Barbara). In 1998 he started his own free-lance business until his retirement. He had a long relationship with the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival producing illustrations and promotional brochures for seasonal productions from 1981-2001.
In semi-retirement Rich produced a series of pastels including North Carolina waterfalls and landscapes which were exhibited at TAG. From 2005-2011 he produced American Gothic, a series of oversized black/white charcoal portraits. The backgrounds feature the interest, hobby or career of each subject. Rich’s work has been exhibited in several galleries from Raleigh to Elkin and is included in private and business collections.
The Kaleidoscope Youth Gallery hosts the ANNUAL TAG Lower School Exhibition with works by students from local elementary schools.
Theatre Art Galleries is located in downtown High Point at 220 E. Commerce Ave. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12:00-5:00 p.m. For more information contact the TAG office at 336-887-2137 or visit www.tagart.org.