From July 5 to October 25, the Thunder Bay Museum will host an art exhibition featuring a series of bird paintings by local artist Rusty Brown. The exhibition will include depictions of local bird species, such as woodpeckers, ravens, waxwings, and blue jays, painted in shadow and darkness using a contemporary mannerist style and phosphorescent paint to create works that glow in the dark.
Illustrations of birds are found in the art of every culture and are often symbolic of the spiritual dimension. These shadowy images by Rusty Brown perhaps allude to the growing plight of birds and their natural environment, but could also represent the state of human spirituality in contemporary society.
The exhibition will located in the Thunder Bay Museum’s Antechamber Gallery.
About the Artist
Rusty Brown is an independent artist, graphic designer and musician based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He utilizes a variety of mediums, approaches and processes in his visual arts. Since the early 80s he has been creating op art “corner painting” that hang in the corner of the room, but his work ranges from op art to abstract to realistic illustration.
“If there is any idiom that my artwork fits within, it would be surrealism,” says Brown, “In my work I like to deal with the idea of reality versus illusion. In art there is always a dicotomy between what the artwork looks like and what it means; what the artist’s intention is compared to what the viewer perceives.”
Brown is originally from Wetaskiwin, Alberta. He trained at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge. In 1998 he moved to Thunder Bay and worked at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery as their education coordinator. For several years, he has been on the board of directors for Definitely Superior Art Gallery, an award-winning artist-run gallery, and is presently the president of the board.
Brown also works in animation and is a singer/songwriter. His animated short film Toonscape won a Royal Reel award from the Canada International Film Festival in 2011 and his music is available for download on iTunes and Amazon.
As part of the writing collective un/speak/able/press, Brown is currently designing their fourth book which will be published in the fall of 2015.