Faith, art exhibited at ‘Into the Mystic’ gallery

[Photo courtesy of Duncan Simcoe] ‘The Return,’ oil on linen (2014), by Noah Buchanan is one of the pieces on display at ‘Into the Mystic: The Quest of Six West Coast Artists’ at the California Baptist University Gallery from Sept. 20–Nov. 19.

Unique theme brought to life by six West Coast artists

The California Baptist University Gallery began hosting the exhibit “Into the Mystic: The Quest of Six West Coast Artists,” starting Sept. 20.

The exhibit features 30 works from different artists, including CBU’s Duncan Simcoe, professor of visual arts. Simcoe explained what this exhibit offers to its visitors.

“(The exhibit is) a rich sampling of 21st century mystical expressions by artists from Southern California to the mid-state and Seattle,” Simcoe said in a press release.

Simcoe worked closely with Gordon Fuglie, professional curator, for close to a year to make this vision a reality.

Works presented in the gallery do not include only paintings, but also photography, installation, mixed media and digital.

This is the first professionally curated gallery CBU has hosted. Previously, the gallery has only presented works by students or curated by faculty.

“This is a really special, first-time event for our gallery,” Simcoe said.

Although Simcoe cannot exactly predict what people will experience, he hopes visitors of the exhibit will enter a space of contemplation.

“We live in an almost grotesquely visual culture,” Simcoe said. “Images in that context tend to be very loud, auditory, constantly changing and shifting. This context for a visual experience is in many ways opposite. It’ll be quiet and things don’t move.”

Both Simcoe and Fuglie have remained strong in their faith throughout their careers, thus making this theme a very spiritual one.

In a press release, Fuglie observed that although modern art has taken a different turn, artists continue to express spiritual themes.

“The encouragement for this artistic quest lies within us,” Fuglie said. “I don’t doubt it comes from an inner-light emanating from a greater power than ours.”

Other than Simcoe, artists presented at this exhibit include Noah Buchanan, Steve Dzerigian, Anne Marie Karlsen, Guy Kinnear and Laura Lasworth.

Although Simcoe does not know all of the artists personally, he said he is impressed by all of their work and excited to showcase their pieces alongside his at the “Into the Mystic” exhibit.

“The roster of ours is quite nice,” Simcoe said. “I was familiar with most of them before, and they are all doing quality work. I feel very good about showing them with these people.”

The exhibit is showing until Nov. 19, and although fundraising is not the main goal, works are available for purchase. The primary goal, however, is challenging visitors on what the mystic is.

“I hope they have their sense of what the mystic is, (and) expand it through having it wrestled with by six different people,” Simcoe said. “Often it is by seeing through someone else’s eyes that our own perceptions are enlarged and changed.”

About Hannah Preston

A&E Editor

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