Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Michael Leavy's Welcome

What better way to welcome Michael Leavy into our gallery than to throw him a dazzling welcome? Not only were his works spectacular, there was also a great turn out for Leavy's "Interiors" opening reception. Over 70 people attended to come and look at his fantastic pieces! The welcoming was such a great success, it is safe to say Leavy felt very cozy in our gallery.
The reception featured food and beverages supplied by family and friends, wraps from Betty's, and extra goodies from Eckhaus. Everything tasted absolutely amazing and there were hardly any leftovers by the end! Not only was the food delicious, the music was also a hit, featuring Leavy's own hits from his rock band, Jealousy Curve.
If you missed the opening reception to Michael Leavy's "Interiors", no reason to fret! You can still catch the show running until December 4th, 2015.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Michael Leavy Shows Us What He's Got!

Introducing, Michael Leavy! The perfect mixture of musical talent and artistic inventiveness, Leavy comes to us from the Philadelphia area, where he has seemed to seemingly master his craft. He has been a musician for 22 years, receiving his Bachelor's of Music Performance from the University of the Arts in the "City of Brotherly Love," and has evolved his talent into becoming the lead singer and primary songwriter for the Philadelphia-based rock band, Jealousy Curve. Along with fronting his own rock band, Leavy has also contributed written and recorded songs for use in projects by Sony/Tristar, HBO, Adidas, NFL Films, MTV, and Sports Illustrated, just to name a few.
In addition to all of this, he also finds time to work as a freelance artist! Inspired by urban street art, Leavy creates his artwork through a mixture of mediums including graphite, spray paint, collage, and watercolor. Being a highly self-motivated musician and artist with a wide range in talents and a super fun attitude, Eckhaus is proud to present Michael Leavy's "Interiors," showing in the gallery from November 6 until December 4. The opening reception will be held on November 6 from 5-8pm so make sure to come out and enter the colorful, dreamy, fantasy-filled world of Michael Leavy.

David Sommers' Work

Review by Kate Misel

Banana Factory resident artist, David Sommers showed in a solo exhibition at Eckhaus Gallery, which was up until Friday, October 30, 2015. David is a high school Teacher of foreign language and art history. He has received national, regional, and local awards in art and international studies. The opening reception for David’s show was held on Friday, October 9 from 5-8pm, there was a great turn out thanks to friends, family and students.

As an artist and painter he works mainly in oil and considers himself to have a Cubist-Realist style. Sommers’ creates abstracted paintings featuring landscapes and the figure. Some of his works feature both realism and abstraction creating a fusion of the two, others are strictly realistic. In his Cubist-Realist style paintings the lines drawn in paint intersect to create various geometric shapes and planes while merging the background and foreground. It appears as though he uses the perspective points in his paintings as a starting point to create lines that transform into geometric forms and builds off of them. The image gets broken up into fragments of color and shapes, Cityscapes become simple geometric shapes making up a larger complex piece. Lighting seems to play an important role as well and is also used to create geometric boundaries, for example in the paintings of sailboats on the water, the interplay of light becomes geometricized and defined instead of being blended as in the realistic paintings.

Some of his work seems to be influenced by cubism because of the way he chooses to abstract his work. His approach to painting is compelling, his work carries a Cubist-Realist style. Upon first seeing his paintings, I immediately thought of Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso. The way the space is simplified and broken is reminiscent of Cézanne. In some of the landscapes and two figurative paintings he uses simplified shapes to represent the subject matter. They are not completely abstracted, they are broken down just enough to become simple shapes while still being representational.

David’s inspiration comes from the subtle beauty that the world has to offer and when he finds that subtle beauty he is compelled to paint. Sometimes he sees it as a way to explore himself and other times he sees it as a way to be logical and rational. In some ways the paintings seem to be thought out and precise while others seem to be an exploration of color, form, and thought. While each painting is subjective to its own process, it is a personal reflection and translation of what the artist really sees, thinks and feels.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Kids are Back!

Review by Kate Misel

On Saturday, October, 17 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eckhaus, a non-profit, student run gallery held its second kids class of the fall semester. A total of five kids attended and participated in making puzzle-like paintings from magazine pages. The two education interns working at Eckhaus this semester, Jessica Caples and Abigail DeVizia first gave the kids a small tour of the gallery and talked to them briefly about David Sommers work, which is currently being exhibited in the gallery until Friday, October, 30.
Before the kids started their own paintings, Jess and Abby asked them what their favorite paintings in the gallery were and what they thought about them. To make their own paintings they first drew puzzle-like shapes onto the magazine pages they had picked out and cut out the shapes. Once they finished cutting they traced the shapes onto a piece of paper and cut them out again and proceeded to paint the shapes they made. Since they needed to let the shapes dry Jess and Abby played a few rounds of Simon Says with the kids and had some cookies while listening to the Disney Pandora station! 
After returning from a short break the kids pieced together their painted shapes and glued them down to a piece of paper creating a new version of the magazine page they had originally picked out. The end result was abstracted puzzle-like paintings! After a successful two hours of fun and making paintings the kids were ready to go home and show their parents what they had made, making it a great second kids class of the semester!

David Sommers Comes to Town

Artist, David Sommers has taken Kutztown by storm! A resident artist at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Sommers is exhibiting an array of colorful landscapes and portraits at our Eckhaus gallery from October 3rd to the 30th. On October 9th from 5-8 pm, a reception was held to introduce the community to Sommers and his extensive collection; a collection that captures the subtle beauty of the world around him. For where words fail, Sommers' colors and brushstrokes help him accomplish his goal of interpreting the interplay of light and shadow in every fleeting moment he captures. To view and enjoy Sommers' vision come to life, don't forget to stop in by October 30th!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Josh Dannin's "CONSTRUCT"

Review by Kate Misel

Kutztown University alum Josh Dannin had his solo exhibition “CONSTRUCT” at Eckhaus Gallery, which was up until Wednesday, September 30, 2015. The opening reception for the show was a great success with the help of the 75 students, faculty and community members that came out to see Dannin’s work.
Dannin graduated from Kutztown University with a BFA and recently graduated from Ohio University with a MFA in printmaking. As a printmaker, he specializes in woodcut and letterpress prints, which are featured in the show as well as three paintings. All of his work for “CONSTRUCT” is derived from architecture. The inspiration for comes from American tract housing and residential block structures abroad. The prints are simple yet complex in that they are puzzle-like, organized and re-workable with many outcomes. His work in itself is a construction process.
Formally the prints appear to be quite simple but possess an internal mathematical structure. Each print is organized in its own pattern/design or structure and is quite pleasing to look at. Dannin’s work is derivative of that of an architect and appears to be experimental in ways. The same blocks and structures can be arranged numerous ways on the same space and each time a different composition will be made. It is permanent yet re-workable. There is a sense of exploration throughout the body of work, it makes you think about the process each print went through to be constructed.
While both possess the same qualities, the paintings are more representational of homes and buildings and the prints are slightly more abstract, they rely more on pattern and organized shapes, a blueprint of sorts. Both feature a selective palette that is monochromatic, allowing you to focus on the formal aspects such as the structure, organization, pattern and design. They are grid like and graphic. The compositions look very similar to blueprints of buildings and homes. They are carefully planned out and clearly show aspects of architecture such as floor plans, rooms and doors. “CONSTRUCT” creates alternative spaces that can be manipulated and changed as many times as you want. Dannin’s work is clearly a process driven form of art making.

Kids Classes in Session!

Review by Kate Misel

On Saturday, September, 26 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eckhaus held its first kids class of the fall semester. A total of nine kids attended and participated in making collages. The two education interns working at Eckhaus this semester, Jessica Caples and Abigail DeVizia first showed this kids around the gallery and talked to them briefly about Josh Dannin’s work, which is currently being exhibited in the gallery until Friday, September, 30.
Before starting their collages, Jess and Abby asked the kids for their own opinions of Josh’s work and most agreed it appeared to be reminiscent of buildings or floor plans, someone even mentioned cubism! They also informed the kids of where Josh’s inspiration came from for “CONSTRUCT” such as American tract housing and buildings abroad. Dannin’s architectural work was in turn used as an inspiration for the children to make their own collages. 
As a result the kids made collages that featured buildings and homes using shapes like rectangles and squares cut out from magazines. They also used watercolor paint to create a sky for their architectural scene. When the kids were finished making their collages and cleaning up everyone ended the class with a few rounds of duck, duck, goose and heads up seven up making it a successful first art class of the semester!