More than 200 oil paintings from artists across the U.S. and Canada will soon cover the walls of the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville, inviting the public to marvel at the masterful works and even purchase a piece of their own.
As the host of Oil Painters of America’s 2021 National Salon Show, the Quinlan is welcoming people to attend the opening reception from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, June 10. Guests will be able to meet with many of the artists behind the paintings. The exhibit will remain on display, free for public viewing, until Aug. 7.
“It’s truly huge for Gainesville to have a national exhibition of this caliber,” Nairika Cornett, director of the Quinlan, said. “These are living masters in oils. We have already sold pieces before they went on the walls because of the quality of work represented in this show.”
When people enter the Quinlan Thursday, Cornett said they’ll see a display like “salons of old days,” which took place in palaces and courts. She said these gatherings would often occur in music rooms with entire walls filled with smaller paintings that “fit like jigsaw puzzles.”
The 215 paintings in the Quinlan’s exhibit will include canvases that don’t exceed 18-by-24 inches.
Cornett said the Oil Painters of America is dedicated to representational techniques, so all the artwork at the show will encompass realistic styles, from impressionism to hyperrealism.
“It’s art that looks like what it (the subject) is supposed to look like, not abstract,” she said. “With every piece you’ll be able to tell what the artist’s intent is.”
Oil Painters of America’s 2021 National Salon Show
What: Exhibition displaying 215 oil paintings from artists across the U.S. and Canada
When: Opening reception 5-8 p.m. Thursday, June 10; exhibit open until Aug. 7
Where: Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, GainesvilleMore info: quinlanartscenter.org
While some of the show’s artists hail from Minnesota, Texas and Illinois, three pieces featured come from Gainesville oil painters Ann Goble, Amanda Lovett and Connie Lynn Reilly.
Goble, who has been painting in oil for 20 years, said she is excited to have her work on display and meet with artists she has admired for years.
“You just don’t get chances very often to see this grouping of work in our town,” she said. “It’s not that we don’t get great work in town, it’s just a great feather in our cap to have them here.”
Goble’s oil painting, “Trouble,” will be available to purchase at the exhibition. The piece shows the scene of a wrangler guiding a horse out to a pasture. Before putting a brush to canvas, Goble said she took the image on camera at a ranch in Arizona.
“He (the wrangler) was taking the horses out after a long day of work,” she said. “This one horse was really dragging and holding him up. He finally went out to get him, and then trouble ensued. There was one moment where the horse's eyes were full of fear and anger, just capturing that moment was pretty thrilling.”
Some of the exhibit’s artwork are made from Oil Painters of America masters, the highest title held by its members. The works will be judged by Charles Young Walls, a signature member of the organization. He will present the awards, including Best in Show, during the opening reception. The Quinlan will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday to give Walls time to properly examine the works.
Because of the size of the show and high quality of work on display, Cornett said the art center has left white spaces in different areas on the walls to give people a visual break.
“There can be eye fatique,” Cornett said. “They are so exceptional, and we want each piece to get the attention it deserves.”
Wood sculptures from Dana Ross, a local artist, will also be placed around the exhibit to provide a three-dimensional respite for people’s eyes.
Those wanting to take their oil paintings to the next level can attend one of the workshops led by Walls on Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13, at the Quinlan. Cornett said the sessions, which involve painting with live models, are for intermediate and advanced artists.For more information about the national oil painting show or to sign up for a workshop, visit quinlanartscenter.org.