Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands presents two concurrent fine arts exhibitions that feature portraits by a Polish artist and paintings that are a collaboration between national artists and former students from Adams State University.
Portraits is a painting exhibition from Karol Babicz, a professor at the Academy of Fine Art in Wroclow, Poland. The second painting exhibition is The Collaboration Project: Eugene Schilling Sabbatical Exhibition.
Both exhibits are in the Highlands Burris Hall Gallery at 903 National Ave. with a closing reception Sept. 21 from 4 – 6 p.m.
“These two exhibitions offer a great opportunity for our students and the public to see firsthand a variety of style and techniques all in one setting,” said David Lobdell, a Highlands fine arts professor who chairs the Visual and Performing Arts Department. “We strive to have exhibitions that speak directly to the fine arts curriculum, giving students a chance to witness a diversity of artistic aesthetics.”
Lobdell, who knows both Babicz and Schilling, asked them to bring their exhibitions to Highlands.
“Babicz is a traditional figurative painter who brings outstanding contemporary design to every piece. Schilling’s paintings are very dynamic in design with pristine execution. This exhibition reflects Schilling’s expertise and ability to expand content through creative collaboration with other artists.”
Babicz has exhibited his art extensively in Poland as well as other European countries such as Romania and the Ukraine.
“In my painting I strive for synthesis,” Babicz said. “I try to reduce the means of expression with the use of a classic painting technique more and more often.”
Schilling, an award-winning fine arts professor and gallery director at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado, created The Collaboration Project exhibition. Schilling has exhibited his paintings and drawings nationally and internationally.
“The motivation for The Collaboration Project stems from working with selected students, over the past couple of years, to create works that combined different styles of painting,” Schilling said. “Typically, collaborative artworks consist of one artist working on a piece and then passing it to another artist. My approach has been for both artists to work simultaneously to complete the painting that is experimental, spontaneous and based on a collaborative effort.”
Schilling said he chose eight professional artists to work directly with his former students over a four-month period to create the 11 pieces for The Collaboration Project. Acrylic is the primary medium and the paintings are all 39 inches by 59 inches.
“The basic idea was to have two artists with different painting styles combine their talents into one cohesive work. Some different styles include nonobjective, lowbrow, surrealism, contemporary realism, abstraction and expressionism,” Schilling said.
The professional artists in The Collaboration Project include Nora McBride, Henry Blount, Barbara Layendecker, Stephen Quiller, Ian Wilkenson, Abel Tilahun, James Fuller and Randy Pijoan.
The Burris Hall Gallery is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.