“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.