Explore “Earthly Delights” and “Eclecticism” of the Human Experience

Water Street Studios

Apr. 13, 2019, 06:00 pm

160 S. Water Street Studios
PHONE (630)761-9977


Batavia, IL –Water Street Studios’ welcomes the work of three artists exploring the human experience without limits in “Earthly Delights” by Les Allen and Bruce Thorn in the Dempsey Family Gallery and “Eclecticism as I See It” by Perry Slade in the Chicago Capital Gallery.

Les Allen and Bruce Thorn invite audiences to explore the endless possibilities and interpretations of their work in “Earthly Delights”. Allen’s photographs and Thorn’s paintings are a nod to Hieronymus Bosch, surrealism, science, nature and magic. Allen’s photography is a controlled manipulation of materials, a sculpting of light. Experience the ephemeral nature of his carefully crafted, invented realities that take on a life of their own. Thorn’s paintings are abstract and improvisational, made without preparatory drawings. Each work is a captivating wellspring of mystery. These are paintings that avoid over-simplified narratives.

Les Allen has been a fine art film photographer for over 5 decades and continues to work in black and white traditional film photography. Working in the medium of large format Les creates surreal worlds through his magical still life compositions and light manipulation. Each silver gelatin print is brilliantly produced exclusively by the artist in his home studio and wet darkroom. Les received both his BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the 70s and was a full-time art educator for 35 years.

Bruce Thorn explains, “I want my paintings to have a heartbeat, to breathe with vitality and mystery, to ask all questions big and small and to suggest answers hidden within like a heuristic prophet. I want to make paintings that could not be made with any other medium. Every color, shape, sound, movement and sensation can serve to reference something of the real world.”

Bruce Thorn was born on Chicago’s Southside in 1952. He grew up during an era when kids hung out together in real time and the personal was of significance. As a child surrounded by the civil rights movement, violent riots, anti-war protests, widespread police brutality, and the 1960’s cultural revolution, Thorn decided to become a painter while a youth. From the beginning, his artwork reflected the intensity, complexity, and introspection of the times. Thorn earned a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1975 and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1987. He has maintained a vibrant art practice throughout his life. His works have been exhibited in the United States, Czechoslovakia, Canada, and the Netherlands.

Perry Slade’s photographic approach to subject matter is thematically eclectic in his exhibition, “Eclecticism as I See It”. Some of the works on display are derived from ongoing projects or explorations of what is seen and not seen within nature. Some of the works on display are responses of how Slade observes the world. Make your way through Slade’s perspective in this engaging exhibition.

Perry Slade is a self-taught artist born in North Carolina and raised in Newark, New Jersey. Now residing in Aurora, Illinois Slade does freelance photography using his eclectic style. Slade’s work focuses on the patterns and juxtapositions of imagery related to the day-to-day business of being alive.

Opening reception for “Earthly Delights” and “Eclecticism as I See It” will be held on Friday, April 12, 2019, from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

The artists will be present at the reception to discuss their work and answer questions. In addition, appetizers will be provided by Gaetano’s Batavia, a cash bar featuring beer from Solemn Oath Brewery, and wine will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public.

We encourage all visitors to make a $5 donation at the door to support arts programming at Water Street Studios. A special thank you to event sponsor, K.Hollis Jewelers and Batavia Enterprises Inc. Don’t forget to share your photos with us during the event by using #2ndFridaysBatavia

We are partnering with the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet during our 2nd Friday Gallery Opening Receptions. We are happy to accept donations on their behalf. Please consider bringing an item from their current needs list that can be found at www.bataviafoodpantry.org. Thank you.

Both gallery exhibits will continue to be on display until Saturday, May 4, 2019, at 5 pm. The exhibits in both galleries can be visited during regular public hours: Thursday-Sunday from 12:00-5:00 p.m. at 160 S. Water Street in Batavia, IL 60510.

About Water Street Studios
Water Street Studios is a nonprofit art center located in Batavia, Illinois. Our mission is to help make the arts more accessible to the Fox Valley region and beyond. Our vision is to be a cultural hub in the Midwest. We provide our ever-growing community with art classes, artist studios, community events, gallery exhibitions, free after-school art programs, outreach, private events in a historic venue, and more. Learn more by visiting www.waterstreetstudios.org.

Statement of Inclusivity: Our organization aims to include and recognize all regardless of race, age, culture, ability, ethnicity or nationality, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, marital status, religious affiliation, and socioeconomic status. We are wheelchair accessible. We offer a gender-neutral restroom.

Water Street Studios

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