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The Artists of Lewis Framing
David F. Brown • Leslie Wardlaw • Doug Shelton • David Kish • Joe Forkan • Dustin Leavitt • William Wiggins

Dates: June 4 – August 27, 2016

Opening Reception: 7-10pm, Saturday, June 11, 2016

Location: Etherton Gallery
135 S. Sixth Avenue

Hours: Summer Hours
11 - 5 Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment

Contact: 624-7370

Etherton Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition featuring The Artists of Lewis Framing including David F. Brown, Joe Forkan, David Kish, Dustin Leavitt, Doug Shelton, Leslie Wardlaw and William Wiggins. The show opens with an artist reception at Etherton Gallery, 7-10pm, Saturday, June 11, 2016 and runs through August 27, 2016. All participating artists share a current or past connection to venerable Tucson institution, Lewis Framing owned by Bea Mason. The show presents recent work in painting, drawing, photography and jewelry. Most important it offers an opportunity for the Tucson community to discover a gifted group of local artists. All artists will attend the reception.

Bea Mason comments, “I am uniquely fortunate to have worked with such accomplished artists who have contributed their talent to Lewis Framing, elevating the quality of the work we do here. I am so pleased that they have the opportunity to show at one of Tucson’s premier galleries.”

Owner of Etherton Gallery, Terry Etherton also says, “I’m really happy to continue our tradition of sharing terrific local artists with the Tucson community. I am also pleased to support Bea Mason, owner of Lewis Framing, who gives back so much to the Tucson arts community.

Works on display include large-scale oil on canvas paintings such as Table Mesa Plateau (2015) by David F. Brown who is known for his use of vibrant color and repeating motifs such as ladders that convey a dry wit. Delicate plein air paintings like Joe Forkan’s Red Hills, Anza Borrego (2015), operate in a lovely nether region between realism and abstraction and highlight his quick brush work and understanding of natural light.  Prominent Midwestern muralist, Doug Shelton describes his style in Getting Ready (2015), as “contemporary realism,” the use of fine art technique to produce paintings that emulate lowbrow art. Writer, educator and artist Dustin Leavitt uses a pinhole camera to make fine art photographs that intentionally emulate vernacular photography. Popular Tucson Weekly “Hoopleville” cartoonist and essayist David Kish makes semi-abstract drawings based on repeating natural forms and colors that read as “visual poems.”

Painter William Wiggins has a background in photography and an eye for mixing vivid colors that he integrates into his portraiture and still lifes, which often include text.  Articulate, bespoke jewelry designer, Leslie Wardlaw, whose designs are inspired by nature believes that jewelry, like the earrings on display at Etherton Gallery should frame the face like miniature sculpture.

For more information about the exhibition, The Artists of Lewis Framing, please contact Daphne Srinivasan or Hannah Glasston at Etherton Gallery. Phone: 520.624.7370. Email: info@ethertongallery.com.



David F. Brown
Originally, from New Jersey, David F. Brown graduated from Arizona State University, Tempe in 1986 with a BFA in studio art and obtained his MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Arizona, Tucson in 1992. In 1993-4, he was the recipient of an Artist Residency from the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. A year later, in 1994, he was awarded an Arizona Commission on the Arts Professional Development Grant. His paintings and drawings have been featured in the Tucson Weekly, Tucson Monthly, Aspen Magazine, Aspen Daily News, Anodyne and Willamette Week. His work has been exhibited at galleries and museums throughout Arizona, Colorado and Oregon. No longer wondering which exit is his, Brown has lived in Tucson with his partner Leslie for many years.
Joe Forkan
Joe Forkan is a figurative and landscape painter who lives and works in Southern California. He was born in Newburgh, New York, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where he received his BFA from the University of Arizona in 1989. He received an MFA in Painting from the University of Delaware in 2002. He currently lives in Orange County, California where he is an Associate Professor of Art at California State University Fullerton. In 2010, He was awarded a fellowship with the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ballycastle, Ireland, where he was an artist in residence for 7 weeks during summer 2010. He is returning for another residency at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in the summer of 2012. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in several museum collections. This summer his Lebowski Cycle paintings will be featured in a one-man show at the University of Arizona Museum of Art (May 28-September 25, 2016).
David Kish
Dave Kish was born in blue-collar Allentown, Pennsylvania where, as a child, he attended the Baum School of Art. Also as a child, he became enamored with his father’s drafting table and drawing tools. After degrees in Architecture and Economics from Lehigh University, Dave lugged that old oak drafting table to graduate school at SCI-Art Los Angeles and then on a twenty year career around the United States, designing and building various projects for a wide range of clients and employers. His art retains an architectonic quality characterized by process, craftsmanship and a certain air of improbability as in his 2010-12 Saguaro Rubbings series, and his 2014-16 Cardboard Bike series. Subject, medium and technique are often combined incongruously, and with surprising outcomes.
Dustin Leavitt
Dustin Leavitt (b. 1955) is a writer and visual artist. He received his B.A. in English Literature from the University of Arizona in 1978 and his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the same institution in 2002. In the 1970s Leavitt worked on a tramp freighter in the Bering Sea and as a square-rig sailor in the Caribbean. In the early 1980s he took up commercial fishing in Hawaii and then worked in the exhibitions departments of several art museums. He ran the exhibitions production department of The Center for Creative Photography from 1990 until 2002. In 2004 he fetched up on the shores of academia and is currently an Associate Professor teaching in the Creative Writing and Visual & Media Studies departments of the University of Redlands. He lives half the year in Southern California and the other half in Tucson, Arizona. Leavitt produces drawings, photographs, visual book works, and works of writing. His writing has appeared in a variety of periodicals, journals, and anthologies, and his visual work in gallery and museum exhibitions.
Doug Shelton
I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa; middle of the state, middle of the country, middle of the century. Growing up, we spent many weekends out in nature; mostly camping, but also a lot of hunting and fishing. I also was a boy scout. Good times!  As a teenager, I took art lessons from an artist couple who lived in our neighborhood. They taught in a very classical manner; I began my studies there drawing from plaster casts in vine charcoal and eventually worked my way up to painting in oils from live models.  After high school I moved to Chicago where I spent a year at the American Academy of Art.  After that, I studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I received a BFA in painting in 1972.  From there I moved around quite a bit; I traveled with a carnival in the Midwest and spent time in Florida, New Orleans, and the East Coast painting murals. I've painted many murals throughout Iowa, including Iowa State University, state office buildings and many businesses. Other projects include a mural at Tokyo Disney and a mural in the US Capital [House Wing, finishing the original House murals started by Allen Cox] for Evergreen Painting Studios.  All the while, I've worked on my studio art, honing my painting techniques and artistic vision. In 1993 my wife and I moved to Tucson. I had been out west as a child on summer vacations and later in Tucson in the 60's and early on fell in love with the western landscape. It's often been an important element in my art in major and sometimes subtle ways. Music has also been an important part of my life. I'm a singer-songwriter and I design and make acoustic and electric guitars and the occasional ukulele. Now, as always, I simply try to make beautiful, playful and challenging artwork.

Leslie Wardlaw
After decades of minimal self-adornment, in mid-life I became interested again in wearing jewelry. When looking at the mass produced jewelry available, especially earrings, I found little that spoke to me. So I began to experiment. Earrings are very personal. They ride along on either side of your face as you navigate the world. Such prime real estate for self-expression! And such prime real estate for art. Much of my work is informed by the exquisite structure, form and movement of plants and creatures. My visual vocabulary is culled from the fronds and buds of plants, the sway of sea grasses and jellies in the ocean and the raw formations found in mountain ranges and canyons. I continually find myself using and combining these abstracted forms that one can’t specifically identify but that we, collectively, can recognize as familiar.

I enjoy playing with scale and with the unexpected in my “little people” series. By using the miniature human forms perched on beads I have left my comfort zone of the more lush and abstract. I imagine that these figures have their own story and their own way of framing the world as they ride along on the wearer’s earlobes. I also strongly believe in the power of story and imagine that these earrings are a reminder of the importance of listening. They serve both as amusement and a reminder that everyone’s story matters. My response to vintage Bakelite buttons and present day plumbing parts all stem from a love of the elegance of many ordinary objects found in our daily lives. I am greatly influenced by mid-twentieth century modern design. I admire the commitment to line and volume found in the history of chair design, lighting, and architecture. I am inspired by the beauty everywhere that is created by the human hand, from the sublime and functional curved handle of a kitchen utensil to the ever-changing way that light spills into a well designed house.

By playing with materials and form I have created miniature, wearable sculptures. As a result I have experimented with traditional notions of adornment. I enjoy broadening limited definitions of femininity and challenging what is considered valuable, what is considered “pretty.” In short, the act of creating a personal vocabulary of self-expression is often a challenge to cultural expectations. And, of course, this is when it really gets fun, when we find kinship and when it is most meaningful.

William A. Wiggins III
William Wiggins has lived in the desert southwest since he was 3 years old. Drawing inspiration from the natural beauty, sounds and celebrations of the desert, his work has always embraced vivid color, regional beauty and memories from his childhood. Wiggins has a long history of creating bodies of work with roots in not only fine art painting, but in photography, sculptural fabrication of various mediums including instrument Luthiery. Wiggins’ current work focuses on portraiture, but not in the traditional sense. His unique perspective embraces interesting objects, and brings the viewer into an “up close and personal” space with his work. He describes his creative approach, as  “painting large paintings on small canvases” and, “always finding a story hidden inside each subject, as if they are a glimpse behind the eyes of someone or something.” Wiggins’ work has been displayed locally at various galleries in southern Arizona, as well as in Northampton UK.


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