Center featuring pair of artists
Published 12:57 pm Saturday, July 22, 2017
The Austin ArtWorks Center is currently featuring painter Craig Groe’s work in the galleries. The next gallery show will open with a reception as part of ArtWorks Week on Thursday, Aug. 24, at 5 to 7 p.m. The opening reception will be a chance to meet the two artists: Shelley Aquino Brandon of Austin and Matthew Rucker of St. Paul.
Aquino Brandon is a pastel studio painter, her subjects are frequently the natural world. She is inspired by observing the world and from many genres of painting periods, especially the current pastel masters. Aquino Brandon balances realism for a recognizable view of the subject and incorporating a mood or emotion in the scene. She says, “I want to draw all the senses into a piece of work, not just a visual image.”
A mainly self-taught artist, Aquino Brandon says, “My love of pastels goes back to when I was a young child watching street artists doing these marvelous celebrity portraits.”
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Aquino Brandon recently discovered yupo paper, a type of plastic watercolor paper that has opened up the watercolor medium for her. That is one example of how she continues to learn and applying new techniques to her work.
Her work has been published in the Richeson75 hardbound art book, juried into the Chicago Pastel Painters 5th National Pastel Exhibit 2015 and the Southeastern Pastel Society’s 17th International Pastel Show 2016.
Aquino Brandon’s work is available for sale at the ArtWorks Center and she exhibited at the 2013 Austin ArtWorks Festival.
Rucker is a painter who is colorblind, unable to see or match color the way most people can. To compensate, he uses pure and saturated colors in his paintings. Rucker says, “This isn’t necessarily a handicap. In fact, I think it adds a lot of versatility, originality and a unique cleanness to my paintings.”
Rucker says, “Painting is a way for me to go to a place that existed only in my dreams when I was young. This place was quiet, clean and simple. Most importantly to me, in spite of my colorblindness, I could see everything in bright and vivid color. My paintings
are snapshots of this place.”
Rucker’s artistic talents were noticed at a very young age by his grandfather—a master woodcarver. He is largely self-taught with brief attendance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a scholarship for artistic and academic excellence. Rucker was named Poster Winner for the St. Paul Art Collective in 2015 and the Elk River Area Arts Alliance Award in 2015.
During the Austin ArtWorks Festival, visitors can also meet two featured Trunk Show artists, Dave Snyder and Gary Blom, watch James Wegner’s painting demonstration and take in live acoustic music.
•Connla – Celtic music, July 26 at 7 p.m.
$5 Wednesday movie – Dirty Dancing, Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
$5 Wednesday movie – Wayne’s World, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
•Bob Ross Landscape Oil Painting on July 29 at 1 p.m.
•Kids Studio – Around the World Art Camp on Aug. 1 to 4 at 10:30 a.m.
•Family Art Studio on Aug. 12, 1 to 3 p.m.
Tickets went on sale on Thursday, July 13, for “Artrageous,” the interactive art and music speed-painting experience coming to the Paramount Theatre as part of the Austin ArtWorks Festival at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26. The show is 2017’s Dick Schindler Celebration Event, presented by Mayo Clinic Health System – Albert Lea Austin. Artrageous tours nationally and commands ticket prices of $25 to $60. Due to Mayo’s sponsorship, the Aug. 26 show tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for 12 and under, in advance.