717 Gallery Fine Art, June 3-July 29
This story was featured in the June 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art June 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.
For the third year, 717 Gallery Fine Art hosts an invitational show featuring the work of top painters. In previous years, the show has had a national focus; however, with the addition of works by Tibor Nagy of Slovakia, this year the show has a wider scope and a new name to match.
The International Artists Invitational Exhibition features 14 artists, including Carolyn Anderson, Anne Blair Brown, John Michael Carter, Robert Johnson, and Huihan Liu. It opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, June 3, from 5 to 8 p.m.
All of the artists are participating at the personal invitation of gallery co-owners Louis and Yolanda Escobedo, who for the past 45 years have been connoisseurs of fine art. As a fine artist himself—he’s won several awards from the Oil Painters of America—Louis studies other artists and meets them at various events. Together with his wife, they curate the show based on whose work has impressed them in the past year. Each artist, including Louis himself, shows two paintings.
Many artists accept the invitation thanks to a mutual admiration of Louis’ work—as is the case with John Michael Carter, who befriended Louis years ago. In fact, the two frequently meet to paint together. “Louis likes to put his feet up, have a glass of wine, and talk art, and I like to do the same,” Carter says. For the show, Carter contributes a still life and a Hong Kong street scene. Throughout his career, he has shown incredible dexterity with subject matter, ranging from portraiture to still life to landscape.
Anne Blair Brown has similar agility, capturing landscapes, figures, street scenes, and interiors. Her works for this show include the interior of a hundred-year-old harbor-house kitchen in Maine and an outdoor farm scene. The latter bears the qualities of Russian Impressionism, which Brown studies, though she doesn’t employ it explicitly. “I’m just soaking it up and hoping it becomes part of my repertoire,” she says. Brown says she also hopes to move further toward abstraction. “I want you to know what you’re looking at but also have to piece some things together for yourself. I think that’s exciting viewing,” she says.
This show brings voices like Brown’s to a new part of the country and helps the artists find new audiences for their work. “I want to bring in nationally recognized work to people on the eastern shore—and expose these artists to the national audience we have here,” says Yolanda Escobedo. —Ashley M. Biggers
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