A visual photographic journey and an abstract experience await gallery-goers at CityArts, where two colorful exhibits will be on display through the end of the month.
Wichita-based photographer Mike Roach and painter Bob Bayer have filled the CityArts galleries with arresting images and vibrant canvasses.
Roach's "A Visual Journey" showcases mostly large-scale photos from Wichita and around the world on digital canvasses and slide prints. Many of the photos were taken in Greece and Ireland and feature beach fronts and nightscapes that have a lingering abstract feel.
There are also several atmospheric pictures from Wichita, including a captivating sunrise Roach captured one morning from the fifth floor of Eaton Place.
Roach, an attorney by profession, called this show a representation of his journey as a photographer. Though he started taking photographs while in high school, he didn't give the art of photography true focus until 15 years ago while on a trip to Ireland.
Since then, he says, his style has gone from representational to almost abstract.
Light is a key element in his work, he said, evidenced by the significant role the sun has in its relation to horizons in many of his photographs.
"Lighting is paramount. The process for me is that if the light is good and the subject is good, then I go for it," he said. "I've learned to trust my eye and to be inquisitive and put myself in situations where I know that the light is good. You have to experiment and do a lot of looking. It's easy to do that when you're in a foreign country."
Bob Bayer's "An Outside the Lines Experience" is on display in the gallery's second level and features dozens of colorful abstract canvasses.
Each work is an explosion of color and evokes a myriad emotions. They challenge the viewer to consider the relationship between mood and hue.
His lighthearted "Music in the Air" piece features spackles of red, white and blue paint strokes set to a placid, white background.
"Escape" is a heavier work, featuring a supernova-like explosion of black in the background with bright red splotches in the forefront.
Angela Cato, marketing director for the city of Wichita's Arts and Cultural Services Division, said the titles of the paintings are key to understanding what Bayer is trying to convey.
"Color is the heart of his abstraction," she said. "His works are very much in the eye of the beholder."
Bayer is relatively new to the creative process. Though he's no stranger to the local arts scene, he didn't start painting until he was 75. His first works were on smaller 8x10 canvases, but he soon discovered that they were too small to capture attention.
The paintings on display are 16x20, which is the size nearly all of his canvases now are.
Bayer said his creations are mostly the result of putting down paint and seeing what emerges. He's never quite sure how they will turn out until the process is finished.
"I see nothing in the universe that has suggested to me that God has painted between the lines," he said in his artist statement.
"I am anxious to see what all comes out before I die."
If you go
TWO COLORFUL SHOWS AT CITYARTS
What: "A Visual Journey," photographs by Mike Roach, and "An Outside the Lines Experience," paintings by Bob Bayer
Where: CityArts, 334 N. Mead
When: Works on display at CityArts during normal business hours through the end of July. Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Mon-Thu; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Final Friday.
How much: Admission is free. Many of the works are for sale.
For more information: Visit www.wichitaarts.com