2012 Aug 17, 5:03am
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Memory, Essence, Mystery opens August 19

Featuring 23 works by David Jay Spyker, the solo show titled Memory, Essence, Mystery opens Sunday, August 19 at the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers, Michigan. There will be a reception from 2-4 pm. The exhibition runs through October 14.

Piper, 2011, Graphite on Paper, by David Jay Spyker

Piper, 2011, Graphite on Paper (Stonehenge 100% Cotton),
10 x 16 in., by David Jay Spyker

Carnegie Center for the Arts
107 N. Main St.
Three Rivers, MI 49093


2012 Jul 11, 1:25pm
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Cradle Wins 2nd Place at Box Factory for the Arts

The Box Factory for the Arts is an interesting facility housed in (you guessed it) a former box factory in St. Joseph, Michigan. The old brick and heavy timber building houses a number of artist’s studios, features classes, and shows stage events as well as visual art exhibits. The 10th Michiana Annual Artist Competition opened June 15, and David Jay Spyker’s painting in acrylics titled “Cradle” won the second place award. In addition to Cradle, the artist is showing two other pieces – Amputee and Inlet.

"Amputee", 2011, Acrylics on Canvas, 18 x 24 in., by David Jay Spyker

Cradle also recently won first place at this year’s annual competition at the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers, Michigan.

"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

After the close of the exhibit at the Box Factory, Cradle will travel back to the Carnegie Center for the Arts to be included in a two month solo exhibition of David Jay Spyker’s work (opening august 19). Once that show closes, the painting will go to its new home at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts where it has been accepted into their permanent collection as a gift of the artist’s father, David John Spyker, in memory of the artist’s mother, Mary Spyker (1945-2011).

The MAAC closes July 27; if you wish to visit the show, the Box Factory for the Arts is located at 1101 Broad St, St Joseph, MI 49085. http://www.boxfactoryforthearts.org


2012 Feb 11, 7:12pm
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“Cradle” Awarded First Place at the Carnegie

At this year’s annual competition at the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers, Michigan, the painting “Cradle” was awarded the first place prize. This installation of the exhibition was judged by artists Jim Markle and Dennis O’Mara.

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

Cradle was executed in 2011 using acrylics on canvas, and is painted with techniques that could be said to lie somewhere between those of oils and tempera with a bit more slant toward the latter.

CCA Competition, Three Rivers, MI - "Cradle" 2

Images of the opening reception:

CCA-2012-Competition-Opening1

CCA-2012-Competition-Opening 2

Also showing at the annual exhibition are the paintings “Inlet” and “Northbound”.

"Inlet", by David Jay Spyker, 2011, Acrylics on Canvas, 14 x 18 in.

"Inlet", by David Jay Spyker, 2011, Acrylics on Canvas, 14 x 18 in.

The show is open through February 22nd, 2012 at the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers, Michigan.


2012 Jan 18, 11:47pm
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Carnegie Center for the Arts Competition 2012

Three of my paintings – “Cradle”, “Northbound”, and “Inlet” – have been included in the CCA’s annual competition this year. The show opens with a reception on January 22 from 2-4 pm, and runs through February 22.

You can visit the Carnegie at 107 North Main St. in Three Rivers, MI 49093

Online at www.trcarnegie.com


2011 Apr 18, 2:13pm
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Timelessness in Art

You can often overhear interesting things in art museums and galleries. On the last day of “The Wyeths: America’s Artists” at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, a man standing one painting to our left said with a semi-sour look, “The mullet kind of dates it”; he was looking at Jamie Wyeth’s “Portrait of Orca Bates”, and I think he mostly missed the point – but I’ll get to that.Portrait of Orca Bates, Jamie Wyeth, 1989, Oil on Panel, 50 x 40 in., Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine

Timelessness is one of those art terms that, if you frequent artsy circles, you will regularly hear thrown around. You will most often hear it used in a context of either praise or derision; it’s one of those art terms. Andrew Wyeth is known to have said that he liked painting nudes because of the timeless quality of the picture; I think maybe depicting a nude in front of some sort of amorphous background is the only way a figurative painting might be considered timeless (in the sense of the art term, at least), and even then, hair styles may be a giveaway to the time period.

Because we only have the personal experience of our own time, I think it is much easier to see images from the past as having a timeless quality. What we’re really seeing is unfamiliarity, out-of-our-own-timeness, not timelessness. Old stuff – frilly clothing, long bygone hair styles, antique personal accouterments, horses, ragged wooden shacks – always has a way of seeming classical, timeless. Maybe in a few generations, a mullet, a gold stud earring, battered work boots, and a Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt will be classical too; we just can’t see it right now. Personally, I don’t really care, it’s a beautifully expressive painting.

Maybe the real questions are: Does it matter? Are we getting the point?

I don’t think timelessness really matters.

First, pure timelessness is very rare.

Second, our enjoyment and understanding of a painting shouldn’t be swayed by critical art-world terminology.

Third, art is better understood when taken in the context of the artist’s time period and personality, and the Wyeths are no exception to this. Andrew and Jamie are known for distilling the essence of their experiences, surroundings, and imaginations in their paintings. It is this very observation and recording of their intimate universe coupled with a willingness to externalize their hearts and minds that makes their art so great – so full of meaning and emotion. When we begin to engage with all the possible stories behind their images, when we begin to understand and have a feeling for the artist’s intent, they only become deeper.


2010 Mar 17, 4:42pm
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24th West Michigan Regional Competition in Lowell, MI

The new painting, “Twilight in the Wood”, is on display at the Lowell Area Arts Council as part of the 24th West Michigan Regional Competition. This year’s juror was artist Armin Mersmann who is known for his masterfully rendered, highly detailed large-scale drawings. He chose an excellent selection of representational works for the exhibition.

Twilight in the Wood, 2010, painting by David Jay Spyker, acrylics on canvas, 14" x 18"

Twilight in the Wood, 2010, painting by David Jay Spyker,acrylics on canvas, 14"x18"

Twilight in the Wood, painting by David Jay Spyker on display at Lowell Area Arts Council, MI

Twilight in the Wood, painting by David Jay Spykeron display at Lowell Area Arts Council, MI

The show runs through April 10, 2010, and is worth the trip to go see it.

Lowell Area Arts Council

Armin Mersmann


2010 Jan 12, 2:57am
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Three Paintings at Carnegie Center for the Arts

"Vessels", 2008, by David Jay Spyker, Acrylics on Canvas, 30" x 42"

It’s that time of year again, and each year I express my fondness for the Carnegie Center for the Arts and the annual regional art competition held there.

This year I am pleased to show three paintings at the competition, and I do hope you will visit the exhibition.

The opening reception is always well attended by the artists and by a very supportive regional community of art lovers.

"The Journey", 2009, by David Jay Spyker, Acrylics on Canvas, 24" x 36"

Both of my larger paintings, “Vessels” and “The Journey”, should be fairly easy to spot right away.

You can read more about “Vessels” in a previous article.

“The Journey” was also exhibited last Autumn at the Art Center of Battle Creek’s 28th Michigan Artist’s Competition.

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My third piece on display will be the small painting “Water Study”, which was done in 2008.

"Water Study", 2008, Painting by David Jay Spyker, Acrylics on Canvas, 7" x 5"

"Water Study", 2008, by David Jay Spyker, Acrylics on Canvas, 5" x 7"

The 2010 Regional Art Competition runs from January 17  through February 20; the opening reception and awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, January 17 from 2-4 pm. You’ll find the museum in Three Rivers, Michigan. Please visit their website for directions and additonal information.


2009 Sep 30, 11:13pm
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28th Michigan Artists Competiton at the Art Center of Battle Creek

My recent painting, “The Journey” will be displayed at this year’s Michigan Artists Competition at the Art Center of Battle Creek.

Should you wish to attend, the group exhibition opens with a reception on October 4 from 2-4 p.m., and remains open to the public through October 24.

For directions and contact information, please visit the Art Center’s website here: www.artcenterofbattlecreek.org


2009 Apr 13, 12:10am
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“Vessels”

I started work on “Vessels” in 2006 not long after completing the painting “Flow”. After a few months I pulled it from the easel to store face-against-the-wall (sometimes you just need to do this with a particular painting), and it wound up staying there for all of 2007, and some of 2008 while I dealt with the worst part of a long term, cornea-scarring injury to my right eye. When I finally put this piece back on the easel I worked at it on and off until it was finally finished in December of 2008. Sometimes a painting just comes together almost as if it’s fulfilling a mystical destiny, and occasionally it’s like pulling the teeth from a running wolf.

"Vessels", 2008, Painting in Acrylics on Canvas, 30" x 42", by David Jay Spyker

"Vessels", 2008, Acrylics on Canvas, 30" x 42", by David Jay Spyker

I have been entranced with waterfall images lately – by “lately” I mean the last few years – and the idea of this space surrounded by an impossibly long and meandering wall of plummeting, rushing water was something I couldn’t get out of my mind. The myriad boats swirling and bobbing about in the swelling waters of this basin symbolize us – humanity as individuals, and as a whole. Each of us is in our own boat (we are the boats), and we all drift about together in the same dangerous and beautiful flow of life.


2009 Jan 14, 4:45pm
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Carnegie Center for the Arts Competition, 2009

I have a small piece titled “Wave Study” in the 2009 regional competition at the CCA in Three Rivers, Michigan. The Carnegie show is always one of my favorites; it’s such a wonderful old building, they always put on a very nice opening, and there is typically a great selection of art to be seen.

Wave Study, 2008, 5" x 7", Acrylics on Canvas by David Jay Spyker

Wave Study, 2008, 5" x 7", Acrylics on Canvas by David Jay Spyker

The Carnegie Center for the Arts/W.R. Monroe Museum utilizes all available exhibition space for a generous showing each year. It also happens that the Carnegie is where I had my first full solo show – at the time, Tom Lowry was the director – so it definitely holds a special spot in my personal artistic history.

The 2009 Regional Juried Arts Show runs January 18  – February 22, and the opening reception and awards ceremony is on Sunday, January 18 from 2-4 pm.


 
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