November Exhibitions: Barry Thomas and Craig Underwood // Elemental, featuring Bullette, Eichler, Johnson & Nicholson

November 9th, 2018 - November 30th, 2018

@AV Gallery

Opening November 9, 2018

November brings multiple exciting exhibits to Art Ventures. Painter Barry Thomas and photographer Craig Underwood will present a joint exhibition at the Art Ventures Gallery. The show captures the vibrance of nature in vivid, scenic photography and bright, large-scale impressionist painting.

The exhibition opening celebration will take place at the Art Ventures Gallery on 101 W Mountain St in Fayetteville on November 9 from 6-8 PM, where the artists will be available for a meet-and-greet. This event is free to the public.

About the artist: Barry Thomas

Barry Thomas is an impressionist artist based in the Little Rock, Arkansas area. Best noted for his canvases filled with light, energy, and rich color, he often seeks to illustrate the beauty found in nature as well as everyday life. “The paintings I create come from my family, my love of nature, and my deeply spiritual heart and bones,” Barry has said. With its emphasis on vibrant colors and scenery, his work is created using only colors from Monet’s palette. For the past three decades, Barry has excluded the use of browns and blacks from all his paintings, simply obtaining the appearance of them by combining several other colors.

Barry is a Fine Arts graduate from The Art Center College of Design in California and the University of Arkansas, becoming an acclaimed illustrator and commercial artist who was later chosen for the Society of Illustration Hallmark Award. As time passed, Barry discovered his love for painting and studied under the guidance of artists such as Howard Terpning, Gary Carter, and William Reece. From there he honed his unique skills of capturing the beauty of everyday life in a vivid and energizing style. Since then his artwork has appeared in galleries across the United States from New Mexico to Illinois and Florida.

About the artist: Craig Underwood

A Fayetteville, Arkansas native, graduate from Baylor University and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Craig has spent the past several years as the President of Underwood’s Fine Jewelers in Fayetteville.  His passion, artistic talents and creativity have helped produce beautiful, nationally recognized, award-winning jewelry designs.  More recently, he’s applied that talent creating award-winning photography.

Craig says of the exhibition: “For me, much of my best photography is the result of an unplanned journey.  I start off with the intent of photographing a particular scene but inevitably get led astray, discovering unforeseen beauty in the process.  At first I would fight the urge to meander off in an unplanned direction, but over time I have learned to embrace this free floating style.  As I roam I look for scenes that speak to me about the beauty of the great outdoors.  I don’t want to merely capture an image, I want to tell a story that evokes a feeling of discovery.”



Brandon Bullette – Sculptor & Acrylic Artist

Brandon Bullette is a Fayetteville, Arkansas based artist working professionally since 2014. He received his BFA in Art & Design in 2009 at Missouri State University with an emphasis in studio drawing. Disillusionment and wanderlust were his masters for several years. Then Brandon moved to Fayetteville, a home close to his hometown of Joplin, Missouri. Here he could take root and observe sweet moments in life and meet positively charged people. He has survived as an artist by painting public and private murals and commissions. He lives with his wife, baby and two pit bulls.

About his work Brandon says, “I have always read a lot. My head is filled with echoes and shadows of hundreds of images born from a writer’s entertaining description.  Caught somewhere between pen and ink illustrator and expressionist painting, I explore a variety of techniques. Most of my work is a result of experimentation of drawing and painting techniques. I apply drastically different layers on a surface to eventually bring them together in an attempt at a compositionally balanced result. Wrestling with push and pull of the layers provides me with a creative experience that nourishes the novelty of the unpredictable markings with the discipline of balance and representation.”

Amy Eichler – Oil & Acrylic Painter

Amy Eichler is an oil and acrylic artist, born and raised in Fayetteville, and a graduate of the University of Arkansas, holding degrees in Computer Science and Art with an emphasis in oil painting and drawing. While she holds a degree in Art, most of her training comes from traveling and attending workshops with artists she admires. Amy is active in the community as a member of the Artists of Northwest Arkansas (ANA) and has a studio at Art Ventures in downtown Fayetteville, AR alongside her mother, artist Celestine Eichler. Her primary focus is on figures and animals in both oil and acrylics.

Amy has taught multiple painting workshops around Arkansas including two sold out workshops at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Amy’s painting “Maggie” was the cover for the 2015 edition of 3W Magazine.

About her recent body of work Amy says, “Over time, my art has grown to be more about the subject and less about the setting, abandoning much of the background to make room for more contrast and negative space.  This transition has narrowed my focus to the portrait and abstraction of the figure.  Often I paint with a limited palette of four basic colors but layer to create a variety of vibrant hues. The backgrounds remain flat, allowing the figure to expand off the edge of the canvas to create a high-contrast, close-up view of each character I paint.  Ultimately, I love anything with eyes and a personality.”

Gary Johnson – Watercolor Artist

Gary Johnson is primarily a watercolor artist but thoroughly enjoys the results that acrylic mediums allow.  Gary has lived and worked in many different areas of the US and became interested in art as he grew closer to retirement in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  He’s a self-taught artist, although he has taken numerous workshops around the country and has studied many texts and journals on the subject to enhance his skill level.  He’s a Signature Artist in Excellence in the South Carolina Watermedia Society and is a member of many regional and national watermedia organizations around the country.  He was recently juried into the Watercolor USA Exhibition, the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition, and the Signature American Watermedia International Exhibition.

About this body of work Gary says, “The Dynamics of Dominance and Value in the abstract art I create are but two of the compositional methods that have become the central theme in the work I produce, exhibit and teach.  My acrylic abstract pieces allow me freedoms that aren’t available in watercolor and produce vibrancy that is different than watercolor.  I love them both and will travel down this parallel path as I continue to grow during the never ending journey an artist travels.”

Denice Nicholson – Mixed Media Artist

Denice was born on a border town of New York State and Connecticut and grew up in an urban environment where the wild beauty of nature held special appeal. Even from a young age Denice had an inclination for drawing nature-imbued curving, irregular images.  As a practicing artist in the beautiful landscape of Winslow, Arkansas, flowers, trees, twigs and berries function symbolically as opposed to realistically in her renderings.  Through many years of trial and error experimenting she developed her own technique, similar to traditional batik, that involves adding layer upon layer of color, using wax-resist for some elements and freehand dyeing for particular effects. Hardened wax is frozen then strategically cracked to allow dyes to infiltrate, creating textures, color juxtapositions and impressionistic inferences of form and space to reveal an ethereal, dream-like perception of our mysterious world.

Nicholson says, “…I dream, I hope, that people who look closely into the details of my work can come to their own understanding that the beauty of the world and the consciousness of our being is available to all of us and is supported by the simplest thing: a daisy about to bloom, falling leaves or a majestic canopy of trees, leading back to a sense of peace and contentment.”