Exhibit Finds Beauty in the Mundane

By Eric Olson

October 22, 2012 Updated Oct 22, 2012 at 7:25 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana--Realist art, artworks that look like real people, places and things is being celebrated at the Fort Wayne Art Museum’s Realism Biennial Exhibition. Not long ago abstract art was all the rage and paintings like this frowned upon but no longer. This is art that celebrates and elevates everyday life. This work is called ‘St Petersburg Alley’ by Florida artist Steve Kenny, photographic accuracy right down to the rain puddles on the road. And this incredible piece called ‘Spiked Dahlia’ by Ohio artist Ernest Vivieros, painstakingly crafted and gorgeous to look at. The Fort Wayne Art Museum has championed realism for years and helped usher in a new respect for this art, a respect that’s paying dividends for artists like Sharon Moody…her portraits of comic books so lifelike you feel you could lift them off the canvas and read them.

“So she’s come up the ladder,” says museum director Charles Shepard III, “and is now about to hit the peak of her career as a result of this and other shows where we champion emerging people and find them an audience.”

Even you folks who’ve never been to the art museum will be very glad you saw this show. This watercolor by Michigan artist Bruce McCombs is called ‘Blue Chrysler’, as sleek and beautiful as the classic car it recreates. This delightful vignette is called ‘Diner Danish’ by Toledo artist Michael Sheets. This Currier and Ives-like painting called ‘Farm at Dusk’ by Warsaw artist Terry Armstrong. Along with the joy of seeing these works up close comes another benefit…a new appreciation for the beauty in those things we see everyday and never thing twice about…the realization that there is much more to be seen in all that we normally stare at without a thought. Eric Olson out in Your County.

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