Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Destry Sparks 
Everything has a Purpose

February 25 - March 20, 2011 
Opening Reception: Friday, Feb. 25, 7-10 pm

Jane Sandelin Gallery 
Art Works Studios & Galleries
320 Hull Street
Richmond, VA
There Is a Path, Destry Sparks, 30” x 40” 

Painter Destry Sparks unveils his largest solo exhibition to date this month at Art Works Studios & Galleries in Richmond, VA.  About 25 of his contemporary mixed media works will fill the spacious Jane Sandelin Gallery at Art Works, a venerable institution on the Richmond art scene. The opening reception is Friday, February 25 from 7-10 pm.  The show runs through March 20. 

Sparks attaches worn found objects to rough surfaces including burlap, window screens and wood pallets.  This creates a quite visceral effect atypical of the traditional flat plane.  The objects are usually made of a mix of natural (crushed pine cones, sticks, wood, etc) and manufactured (plastic bottle caps, wires, rusted mechanical parts, etc) materials.  While all of the things at hand share the effects of use and aging, their dire state of existence is offset by optimistic titles and scenarios suggesting an ultimately better end.

Sparks cites a diverse range of influences from modern masters Paul Klee, & Joan Miro to leading contemporary figures led by Anselm Kiefer & Gregory Amenoff.  American outsider artists hold equal sway as well, alongside traditional African & Aboriginal craftsmen.   The French art brut pioneer Jean Dubuffet is key as well, with his insistence on developing a kind of raw intuitive visual aesthetic.

It’s a busy year for the Greenville, NC artist with solo exhibitions also scheduled in Charlotte, Miami & New York.  For more information about his work as a painter & curator, visit his site at www.destrysparks.com.  

Sparks 2009 mixed media on burlap painting, There Is a Path, was selected for the National Collage Society’s 25th Annual Exhibit at Mason Murer Fine Art in Atlanta, GA.

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