“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 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.


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 Jun 14, 11:56pm
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“Northbound” at Michigan Artist’s Competition

From June 10-30, the watercolor and drybrush painting, Northbound, will be included in the Michigan Artists Competition at the Art Center of Battle Creek. The competition is open to entries by any artist living in Michigan. This year’s juror is sculptor Kenneth Thompson of Blissfield, Michigan.


 
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