The work of award-winning artist Jeff Fennel, known for his work in many disciplines and mediums across the arts, is the featured exhibition from August 20 to September 20. 25 “Art of The Galaxy, Out of this World” exhibition at the Main Event Gallery, 710 Main St., Red Bluff.
A familiar local artist, Fennel is known for his classical works, as well as his dynamic, multidimensional paintings and sculptures on brushed aluminum. His extraordinary works transport viewers to worlds created beyond imagination to experience unknown terrains, spheres suspended in space and objects coexisting together.
Fennel will be one of the featured artists, along with renowned Dr Norman Nasise and members of the gallery, at an exhibition opening with a reception, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, August 20.
Born on a Navy base, Fennel says he always knew he wanted to be an artist and that he wanted to make a living with a pencil, which represented his art.
He took basic art classes in high school, but was mostly motivated to study and teach art techniques himself. Fennel loved comics, animation, and any medium conveying a story with pictures. He is particularly drawn to children’s book illustrators like Maurice Sendak.
Because his father and grandfather were military pilots, Fennel was drawn to military subjects and particularly fascinated by science fiction and space films. A major event for him was witnessing the coverage and excitement of the Apollo space program. All of this fused the imagination of a young boy and gave direction to his art.
However, it was video game development that became his career.
Fennel’s interest in metal painting grew when he drew inspiration from the works of another artist. He began to experiment with his own techniques and achieved unique effects that were not possible with other mediums. Working with design, composition and color, he played with his other forms of concept art.
“The process of painting on aluminum begins with going to a junkyard, finding and collecting odd-shaped pieces of scrap metal with imperfections that machine shops have thrown out,” Fennel said. “I find pieces that speak to me or I can visualize drawings in them. For me, these pieces are existing artefacts and not a canvas. They are already processed for a specific purpose. This makes them more interesting and mysterious to me, and I see something in them that I can improve and develop further in life. “
Explaining the process, Fennel says he starts with an industrial grinder and sanders, grinding patterns into the aluminum that will work dynamically with paint and light to improve the design of the room. It is a very physical activity that he enjoys.
Painting is mostly done with an airbrush or by hand with a brush, using a wide variety of stencil materials to develop the imagery.
“The dimensional quality has to do with the surface of the aluminum and the way I ground the pattern in the aluminum, and the way it picks up and reflects the light,” he added. “I apply thin coats of clear paint to the surface, so that the light can travel back and forth through these coats to reflect the light off the metal.
The opaque elements, which are its symbology and design language on each piece, are both cosmic and spiritual in nature, according to the artist.
“These elements which often represent spheres or molecules are very solid and fit together very well, giving an illusion of depth. I play music while I paint and depending on the music it affects my work in different interesting ways.” , added Fennel. “The aluminum design has a playful quality, but a lot of it is physics and astronomy. I am fascinated by quantum mechanics and astronomy, creating a strange world existing on a level we cannot. really understand. “
Dr Norman Nasise, passionate astronomer and photographer of the region. will exhibit his “out of this world” photos taken while looking through his extremely powerful telescopes.
Toni Gaylord, Board Member of the Arts Council, said: “It’s amazing to see the color and detail that galaxies thousands of light years away provide us. Dr. Nasise’s passion for astronomy cannot be ignored in a conversation with him about his photos. “
The Nasise mobile observatory will also be parked outside the Gallery during the reception.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Tehama County Arts Council. The opening hours of the gallery are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, Friday, Saturday.