By MATTHEW PEDERSEN

The Fresh Ideas 2017 gallery exhibit features a diverse scope of pieces, ranging from portraits to sculptures. The exhibit is sponsored by the Visual Art League of Lewisville and brought together a number of talented regional artists. It is also one of three annual exhibits put on by the League, all organized in an effort to showcase trends in modern Texan art.

While each piece is unique and worthy of discussion, the following were some of the standouts that were particularly striking:

“Allegory of the Cave Kryptos” by John Koch

Taking home first place from the judge was an oil on canvas piece entitled “Allegory of the Cave Kryptos” by John Koch of Crowley. Koch has a number of pieces in the exhibit, and all make use of a dark color palette and crowded, almost claustrophobic scenery. The various objects swirling around the edges of “Allegory of the Cave of Kryptos” inevitably lead the eye to the enigmatic subject at its center, giving it weight and a brooding presence which can easily be described as haunting.

Taking second place was “Shoryuken” by Keller resident Vanessa Kantaphone. An oil on masonite piece, its visual style is far rougher and somewhat blocky when compared to that of the previous piece, but it’s realistic coloring results in a very earthy visual tone. That same blocky style connects very well with the main subject of the painting, a depiction of the Street Fighter video game character Ryu. It translates the pixelated video game content into a painted format, creating a strong connection between its subject and its background.

Probably this reviewer’s favorite piece of the exhibit, “The Wave,” by Lewisville’s Becky Kerbow, is a combination of acrylic and glass work on canvas. The piece depicts a wave, using glass to give it a three-dimensional effect that captures the light of the room. The light highlights the complex mixture of blues, which itself contrasts greatly with the white seafoam. The total effect of “The Wave” is one of movement and action, capturing the depth of its color.

“The Wave” by Becky Kerbow

“Times Remembered,” an acrylic piece by Charles Hendrickson from Flower Mound, features highly contrasting imagery. The painting depicts a crystal obelisk in the middle of a desert, and within the crystal is an idyllic paradise rife with colorful flowers and rainbows. The monochromic desert makes the more vibrant environment of the crystal really pop out to the viewer, and the symbolism of the piece is highly thought-provoking.

“A Rainbow Peacock on Rainy Day’ by Allen resident Anannya Chowdhury brings a different style to the exhibit. Featuring a dazzling array of both bright and dark colors in complex patterns to depict its titular subject, the painting is an example of a style originating in India called “Madhubani.” Its use of symmetry and color is very eye-catching and is one of the most arresting pieces found in the gallery.

The Fresh Ideas 2017 exhibit is open to the public at the MCL Grand at 100 N. Charles St in Lewisville and will be running until September 9. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. All pieces were judged by Christopher Blay, an instructional associate and curator at Tarrant County College.

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