The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 10 No. 23 - March 3, 2010


Indiana artist comes to Innervisions Gallery

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Above, “A Busload of Faith,” by
John C. Calhoun, on a maple and
sapele table with crab-style legs,
by Doug Copeland

Be ready to see the light when the Sweet Baby Jesus Southern Tour comes rolling into town.

Indiana artist John C. Calhoun brings his paintings, drawings, mixed media works and collaborations with Anna Maria cabinetmaker Doug Copeland to Innervisions Gallery in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts March 5. The pieces, with names such as “The Temptation of the Snake,” “The Miracle of the Baptism” and “The Department of Justice” will intrigue, provoke and delight you.

“In the late ‘90s I dallied with some less traditional artwork, which laid the basis for this stuff,” Calhoun explained. “This direction lay dormant for nearly 10 years until I was challenged by two ladies who owned an Indianapolis gallery to make more pieces like those dalliances.

“I took the challenge, much as I took the challenge of a very good high school friend’s mother when she said at that time that I would never have the chutzpah to follow an artist direction.”

Calhoun said his new pieces develop the concept of the drip, which flattens the literal theme and reminds the viewer of the two dimensional nature of the canvass.

“The lack of registry in the transparencies used in the current work is intentional ‘dripping,’” he continued. “This led to the bending of the transparencies which serendipitously led to a three dimensional effect.

“The images I use are most often taken from photographs which are photo shopped, printed, painted/drawn into, scanned, photo shopped again printed, etc.”

Calhoun met Copeland in college at DePauw University in Indiana. After they graduated in the late 60s, they collaborated on some artistic ventures before going their own ways.

“Three years ago, while visiting the Copelands in Anna Maria, Doug and I found ourselves involved nearly 40 years later in a new artistic conspiracy,” Calhoun said. “From this conspiracy both the pieces in collaboration with Doug, a fine furniture maker, and those produced by myself were born.”

Copeland, who has made custom furniture in his shop on the Island for 20 years, built the cabinetry for three of the pieces. They include a maple and sapele table with crab-style legs for “A Busload of Faith,” a cabinet with pecky cypress framed in poplar and cypress with a high gloss black lacquer finish and gold leaf accents for “Hell” and a maple and sapele stand for “The Holy Miraculous Infant of Prague.”

“Many of the works to be seen in the show include their own lighting,” Calhoun pointed out. “This is influenced by my many years as an electrician and electrical contractor. The early works are illuminated by simple picture lights, but now the lighting has evolved into the use of LED and fluorescent lamps.”

The opening reception will be Friday, March 5, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Innervisions Gallery, 1122 12th St. W, Bradenton. The show will on display through April.

And according to the invitation, “If you are holding this, a divine force wants you to be there.”

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