2014 Sep 10, 3:25pm
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Great Lakes Juried Show – 5th Annual – 2014

See the painting “Sudden Flight” at the South Haven Center for the Arts from September 12 – October 26, 2014. The annual, five-state art competition takes place in South Haven, Michigan with an opening reception on Friday, September 12, 2014 from 5:00-7:00pm. Awards will be presented at 6pm with the judge’s remarks.

LIVE music. Cash Bar. Awesome Art, FREE – All Welcome!

South Haven Center for the Arts
600 Phoenix St.
South Haven, MI 49090
269-637-1041

 


At the Water’s Edge

You are invited to the opening of “At the Water’s Edge” this Friday, August 15, 2014 (5:30- 7:30 pm) at the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph, Michigan. This solo exhibition features 25 recent works, and runs 8/15 – 9/27.

"The Last Days of Autumn", 2014, Acrylic on Hardboard, 27.75 x 46.25 inches, by David Jay Spyker

“The Last Days of Autumn”, 2014, Acrylic on Hardboard, 27.75 x 46.25 inches, by David Jay Spyker

The mood of a painting has always been very important to me. I
know I’m on the right track with a painting when I can start to feel
the subject – smell the water, taste the air, feel the temperature, hear
the wind or the waves.

I have an obsession with the changing seasons and the passage of
time. The way the light changes over the year is endlessly
fascinating. Weather is the same – it’s so amazing, something full of
wonder.

The season should be something you just instinctively know when
you look at the painting. If you can feel it too, then I’m on the right
track; if you’re also hearing the water or smelling the air, then I’m
really on the right track.

If I’m to have an interest in it, I need to really feel my subject, and if
I don’t have an interest in it, I won’t be able to find its essence and
bring it out in the end. It’s a sort of creative circle that needs to be
complete. Ultimately, I’m after the emotional character of the
subject.

“At the Water’s Edge”, Solo Show, Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085


2014 Aug 7, 4:29pm
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Upcoming Group Exhibition at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Today I delivered this painting to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts for installation in the upcoming exhibit, “Double Take: Artists Respond to the Collection”. The show runs August 23, 2014 – January 4, 2015 (reception is Sept. 5th).

 

In the studio: "Whisper", 2014, Acrylic on Alupanel, 18 x 30 inches, by David Jay Spyker

In the studio: “Whisper”, 2014, Acrylic on Alupanel, 18 x 30 inches, by David Jay Spyker

It should be an interesting exhibition featuring the works of regional artists hung next to pieces from the permanent collection, which have inspired them in some way.

In the studio: the painting "Whisper" in progress.

In the studio: the painting “Whisper” in progress.


2014 May 7, 10:12pm
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Solo Show Opening at the Art Center of Battle Creek, 2014

Just a few photos for you from the May 4 opening of “Eighteen Years” at the Art Center of Battle Creek. The turnout was very good – I met some very nice folks – and the show looks great. Linda, the Center’s director, did a great job hanging it. The exhibit will be up through May 24, 2014.

The show features fine examples of my work spread over the last eighteen years.

Art Center of Battle Creek
265 East Emmet St.Battle Creek, MI 49017


“Eighteen Years” at the Art Center of Battle Creek

Thirty works of art spanning the years 1996 through 2014 make up “Eighteen Years”, a solo exhibition by David Jay Spyker at the Art Center of Battle Creek. You are invited to join the artist Sunday, May 4, 1-4 pm for the opening reception.

The Last Days of Summer, 2014, Acrylic on Hardboard, 9 x 12 in., by David Jay Spyker

The Last Days of Summer, 2014, Acrylic on Hardboard, 9 x 12 in., by David Jay Spyker

About the exhibition, the artist writes:

I think most artists are telling an autobiographical story on some level, and I would say that this exhibition, especially, does just that. By bringing together selections of my work from 1996 to 2014, and hanging them side-by-side, I hope to give a sense of where I’ve been, and where I’m going.

My art has always been rather personal, beginning with the expression of my own thoughts and ideas about the world; always toying with my own obsessions over mortality, the passage of time, and the changing seasons; then coming to include biographical moments in time.

Early influences included, among so many periods and movements, surrealism and early American landscape painting. Over the years, the surrealist influence has grown more distant, though I think it can still be felt as a quiet undercurrent in the mood of my work.

The mood of a painting has always been very important to me. I know I’m on the right track with a painting when I can start to feel the subject – smell the water, taste the air, feel the temperature, hear the wind or the waves. Going deeper than that, I’m after the emotional character of the subject.

I need to really feel my subject if I’m to have an interest in it, and if I don’t have an interest in it, I won’t be able to find its essence and bring it out in paint. It’s a sort of creative circle that needs to be complete.

If you can walk away having felt something too, then I’ll consider it a success.

– David Jay Spyker

The show runs May 4-24 at the Art Center of Battle Creek, 265 E. Emmett Street, Battle Creek, Michigan 49017.


2014 Mar 11, 6:33pm
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Joining Robert Kidd Gallery

I dropped off four paintings at Robert Kidd Gallery in Birmingham, MI yesterday for a group show. “Deep Thaw” runs 3/22/2014 through 4/26/2014. If you live near Detroit, stop in and have a look.

Robert Kidd Gallery was founded in 1976, and is one of the premier galleries in Detroit. With a wide array of abstract and realist paintings, sculpture, and drawings, the gallery represents one of the finest collections of available artwork in the Midwest. While exhibiting the work of many notable emerging contemporary artists, the gallery roster is further distinguished by an array of 20th Century masters including Milton Avery, Harry Bertoia, John Chamberlain, Sam Gilliam, Larry Rivers and Helen Frankenthaler.

"Sudden Flight" at Robert Kidd Gallery

“Sudden Flight” at Robert Kidd Gallery

"Regatta" at Robert Kidd Gallery

“Regatta” at Robert Kidd Gallery

Please contact the gallery with inquiries:
Robert Kidd Gallery
107 Townsend St.
Birmingham, MI 48009
(248) 642-3909


2014 Jan 30, 4:53pm
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Sudden Flight Awarded Best of Show

“Sudden Flight” was awarded Best of Show in the annual Regional Fine Arts Competition at the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers, Michigan. Also on display are “Regatta” and “Winter Murder”.

Sudden Flight at Carnegie Center for the Arts, Three Rivers, MI

Sudden Flight at Carnegie Center for the Arts, Three Rivers, MI
Acyrlic on Canvas, 36 x 60 in., 2013

Sudden Flight at Carnegie Center for the Arts, Three Rivers, MI

2014 competition reception attendees at Carnegie Center for the Arts, Three Rivers, MI

The 2014 competition was judged by Greg Waskowsky, painter and Curator of Special Programs at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; Dave Curl, artist, photographer, and adjunct professor of Art at Kalamazoo College and professor emeritus as WMU; and Steve Curl, a sculptor who uses found objects and junk to create whimsical robots and abstract piece.

Regatta at Carnegie Center for the Arts, Three Rivers, MI

Regatta (on the left) at Carnegie Center for the Arts, Three Rivers, MI
Acyrlic on Canvas, 24 x 36 in., 2013

It’s a very nice show with a lot of great pieces by artists from eighteen counties in Michigan and Indiana – well worth the trip.

The exhibition runs through February 26, 2014.

Carnegie Center for the Arts
107 N Main St.
Three Rivers, MI 49093
269-273-8882


“Cradle” Displayed in “Copley to Kentridge: What’s New in the Collection?”

spyker-cradle-kia-posterThe painting, Cradle, joins more than 100 other recently acquired works in “Copley to Kentridge: What’s New in the Collection?” at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

"Cradle" at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, David Jay Spyker

“Cradle” in Copley to Kentridge: What’s New in the Collection?

Completed in 2011, Cradle entered the permanent collection of the KIA in 2012. It will hang with works by notable artists such as George Tooker, John Singleton Copley, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jackson Pollock, Stephen Hansen and many others.

"Cradle", 2011, Acrylics on Canvas, 13 x 49 in., by David Jay Spyker

“Cradle”, 2011, Acrylics on Canvas, 13 x 49 in., by David Jay Spyker

In 2012, Cradle won 1st place at the Regional Fine Arts Competition at the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers, Michigan. It also took the 2nd place award at the Michiana Annual Artist Competition (10th MAAC) at the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph, Michigan the same year.

"Cradle" at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, David Jay Spyker

To the right is a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph.

Whether it’s a river, one of the Great Lakes, the ocean… water, to me, is an expression of spirituality, healing, and the timeless power of nature. It might represent a journey, or reference change over the course of time. It’s the source of life for all living things, and at the same time can engender something primeval and elicit emotions of unease or even danger.

The title of a piece has always been very important to me. When I choose a title, it comes from my own personal understanding of the painting. The meaning may not be immediately apparent on an outward level, but the title should reference my own thoughts and feelings about the image. Very often, the title will point to several different meanings, and when it does I feel I’m really getting something right.

In Cradle, I’ve used the boat as a metaphor for both the individual and humanity as a whole. The old boat also has the shape of a cradle of sorts. It carries us on the water, which here represents all of life. The water becomes a cradle for the boat, and encompasses birth, life, and death.

Study for Cradle

Study for “Cradle”, 2010, graphite, watercolor, and acrylic on paper, 14 x 16.5 in., by David Jay Spyker

When Cradle was at the 2012 competition in St. Joseph, Michigan, a woman who was part of a creative writing group there came up to me and said they each had to choose a piece in the show and write a story based on it. She chose Cradle, and said she imagined there was a man lying in the boat, that he had been there a long time, and whether he was alive or dead was something of a mystery. I felt Cradle conveyed a sense of strange mystery as well, so hearing what she said was encouraging.

Thoughts and especially emotions are something I’m trying to conjure when someone looks at my art, so people’s interpretations of my paintings – learning what kind of thoughts and feelings they have when they engage with it – that’s always interesting.

Study for Cradle

Study for “Cradle”, 2010, graphite on paper, 14 x 16.5 in., by David Jay Spyker

“Copley to Kentridge: What’s New in the Collection?” is on display 9/14 – 12/1, 2013 at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007.


2013 Jun 5, 2:36am
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“Winter Murder” Wins Award at Michigan Artists Competition

“Winter Murder” won the top Southwest Michigan Watercolor Society Award for water-based media at the Michigan Artist’s Competition in Battle Creek. The Watercolor Society sponsored three awards at this year’s show.

"Winter Murder", 2012, Acrylics on Canvas, 30 x 42 in., by David Jay Spyker

Also in the show is the piece, “Homeward”. See the exhibition at the Art Center of Battle Creek, 265 E. Emmett Street, Battle Creek, Michigan 49017 through June 29, 2013.

 


2013 Apr 18, 3:13am
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Compass and Piper on Display at Portage District Library

If you are in the Kalamazoo/Portage area, stop by the Portage District Library to enjoy the group show “Birds”. The painting, Compass, and the drawing, Piper, are both part of the exhibition, which runs through May 31st.


 
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