I Dream of Flying
Sept. 6 - Nov. 19
3 Summer Shows
Home is more than a house, more than a town. Home is everything that makes us who we are. Two artists who showed at The Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art on the campus of Central Methodist University, exhibit paintings from their home states, and all that encompasses "home," in the exhibition "3 Summer Shows."
The show, which ran June 7–July 23 at the Gallery in Fayette, showcases "Missouri Impressions" by Carol Hatting Bramon, and "Kansas Impressions" by the late James J. Froese. Joined with the main shows was a gallery of works from the Gallery collection called "Small is Big."
Carol Hatting Bramon grew up in Jefferson City and was encouraged by her father at an early age to be creative. She began drawing and never quit. She got a Bachelor of Science in art with a minor in English from Lincoln University in 1961, followed by an MED in art education from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
She has continued her exploration of artistic expression through studies in printmaking, drawing, watercolor, and pastel. Bramon and her husband, Gene, currently live in Mexico, Mo., where she taught art for 25 years.
Bramon works in a home studio, but she enjoys painting plein air in watercolor and pastel, sometimes beginning outside and finishing in the studio. She says her purpose in creating a piece of art is the pure joy derived from finishing a work that is personally pleasing to her. Through the years, she has shared her work in many art shows and has received recurring recognition for it.
She believes that the imagination is expressed through art, whether it be visual arts, literature, or music. "The light of one's imagination illuminates the efforts and thoughts of the arts," Bramon says.
Her Missouri "home" on display includes paintings of Arrow Rock and Hermann, as well as mono-prints, oils, and acrylic.
Bramon also participates in raising funds for the Dream Factory in Audrain County, which helps ill children live out a dream of their own. In doing so, she participates in the county's "Chairs 4 Charity" auction; she paints her chairs based on children's nursery rhymes.
Froese's "home" was Kansas and strong connections with his past, including his comfort in the state's wild places and a celebration of Native American culture.
As an artist, Froese (1936-2012) was prolific and believed in sharing all of his work, regardless of medium, style, and critiquing. He worked in a variety of media; however, he is most known for his paintings, drawings, and assemblages. He ranged from realistic to abstract, refined to rough.
He often used references to historical events and Indian life. He was a visual storyteller juxtaposing whimsy and mundane, "unraveling the complex layers beneath our common experiences."
Froese apprenticed to Thomas Hart Benton while at the Kansas City Art Institute, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts. After continuing to study at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, he finished his master's degree at Wichita University (Kansas).
He taught art at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. In 1968 he became the head of the University of Missouri's (MU) Extension Program. In addition he lectured, taught, supervised, and judged art shows. He ended his formal career teaching art at MU. He became solitary after he retired so he could concentrate fully on creating his art.
Froese presented more than 40 shows and exhibited alongside Salvador Dali in one juried show.
His brother James says, "His subject matter was often drawn from his past experiences, which made his work unique... His paintings, drawings, sculpture, and three-dimensional works are those of a gifted storyteller." He calls his brother one of the most creative artists of his generation.
The third segment of the summer show at the Gallery showed 30 pieces of artwork from the Ashby-Hodge permanent collection. "Small is Big" refers to the actual size of the art pieces, the largest being 18" x 13.5."
Artists featured include Aaron Pyle, Aaron Bohrod, James Durard Marshall, Roger Medearis, Robert Macdonald Graham, Charles Banks Wilson, Diane Huneke, and Anna Mae Hodge, whose name the Gallery carries. Collectively the works displayed provide the opportunity for viewers to understand the power of art that may be small in size but big in impact.