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Get insight in artist Dennis Campay's journey
Dennis Campay works in his studio. The Atlanta artist will sign copies of his new book on May 28 at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville.


Hear artist Dennis Campay talk about the contradictions within his artwork.
What: Artist talk and book signing with Dennis Campay
When: 6:30 p.m. May 28
Where: Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville
How much: $5 Quinlan members; $10 nonmembers; free with purchase of Campay’s book, “Images” for $25
More info: Preregister by calling 770-536-2575

The process from blank canvas to completed painting can be a complicated one, with many turns and changes along the way.

Dennis Campay’s artist talk May 28 at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center will explore that journey.

“It’s not preplanned,” Campay said of his painting process “... It just kind of flows out, and I go, ‘Oh that’s kinda cool,’ and I kind of go that way.”

Campay refers to himself as a figurative abstractionist, meaning that he paints representations of objects and environments that don’t exist anywhere but in his mind.

“They may look like a city that you say, ‘Oh, I’ve been there,’ but it’s because I’ve painted the emotional aspect of that environment in a figurative way,” he said.

Much of his art represents cityscapes, and architectural scapes is what gave him his start.

Campay studied landscape architecture, but by his mid- to late-30s, he said he was bored with that and began to pursue drawing and painting, going back to school to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Atlanta College of Art.

But the architectural background has its influence.

“(It) taught me to look at details that other people probably don’t look at,” he said.

Amanda Kroll, executive director of the Quinlan, also noted the influence.

“He has these really unique views of buildings and landscapes that are not traditional — very contemporary and very unique,” she said.
Kroll said the Quinlan chose to bring Campay for an artist talk because he’s been involved with the Quinlan for many years and is also a dynamic speaker. Campay, who has a studio in Atlanta, said his involvement probably dates back to 1998, adding that “art needs to be in all communities, not just the metropolitan areas.”

Campay said he will share about how he composes and themes that he’s followed.

“His art is so much a reflection of himself, and he is just so wonderful to talk to and to learn from,” Kroll said. “And his artwork conveys so much a sense of place and a moment of time in a very romantic way.”

The talk will include a PowerPoint presentation and a question and answer session. A book signing of his new book “Images” will follow.

Those interested in attending should RSVP to the Quinlan, and admission is free with the prepurchase of “Images.”