When Bob Bayer sets up a canvas, it’s anyone’s guess what his finished painting will look like. That’s because the 70-something-year-old doesn’t know himself until he’s well into the process.
“I paint things that just come to mind,” Bayer said. “I wait to see what comes out, and then I put a name on it.”
Bayer and five other Wichita artists are showing their work during a free KEYN concert on Aug. 10 that features pop music cover band Lucky People. This free art show features work from Artist Central, a new gallery and workspace where artists meet to create and show their work. The artists affiliated with the studio have brought their work to WaterWalk for the event.
“Nearly all of the paintings that all of us do are impressionistic or abstract,” Bayer said about the group. Although Bayer works strictly in acrylic, others focus on other media including photography, charcoal and oil.
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Another artist, Pamela Lamont, cannot be categorized. The western Kansan uses multiple media and a variety of techniques.
“I just do many disciplines,” Lamont said. “It’s kind of what the spirit moves me to do.”
One of Lamont’s favorite pieces that she’s showing at WaterWalk uses her granddaughter as the focal point. The work, “Someday I Will Move to China,” tells the story of a young girl who dreams of living in China. The piece depicts a child reading a story about this faraway land.
“It’s the joy of the power of words,” Lamont said. “Reading can take you wherever you want to go.”
The other artists featured at the exhibit are Kathleen Brown, Jeanne Ward, Stephanie Ward and Jo Zakas.
“It is a very diverse show,” Lamont said. “It’s diverse as far as all of our talents and subject matter.”
Several of Bayer’s one dozen featured paintings are abstract depictions of this year’s and last year’s drought. One acrylic, “Inferno,” uses multiple shades of red. Another work, “Frantic Rain Dance,” depicts an abstract version of a rain dancer.
“I get my ideas from dreams,” Bayer said.
Bayer said that like his works, many of the pieces at the exhibit use vibrant color.
Stephanie Ward’s paintings are a prime example. In 2006, Ward won an art contest. Her work was displayed at the Smithsonian Institution and then traveled the country for two years.
Her mother, Jeanne Ward, is also an artist. Like Lamont, Jeanne Ward works with a variety of media, from pastels to watercolors to stained glass.
One of Ward’s latest pieces is a three-dimensional poppy. Ward used grout, acrylics and a roller to create the vibrant red flower.
Most of the artists will be present during the showing. They are excited to interact with the public and show off their work at this community gathering.
“We’ve gotten a completely different crowd,” Jeanne Ward said. “It seems to be opening up a lot of different opportunities.”