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UNK Professor takes abstraction to a colorful level at Minden Opera House

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MINDEN — A show featuring oil paintings by Doug Waterfield continues on display through July 29 at the Minden Opera House.

The artist, professor of art at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, designed the show with three themes he has been working on for the past three years: The Circus, Trees and Musicians.

Doug Waterfield

Doug Waterfield

In his artist’s statement, Waterfield wrote: “The Trees series began as an effort to bring closer attention to something we see as so ubiquitous that we hardly even notice them anymore. There is beauty in a tree, if we take the time to look. I enjoy rendering the patterns of the bark, the light through the leaves, the patterns of limbs in a specific tree. These are all unique identifiers for each plant. Each of the tree subjects I’ve done is a specific tree, and sometimes even has a proper name. I am from the South, where there are many trees, and living in Nebraska, where they are less common, makes me pine for them even more.”

Waterfield used abstraction to highlight the form and design of circus acts. He uses a technique of multiple, over-lapping sequences of movement to suggest motion, akin to the work of the Italian Futurists in the early 20th century.

“Art doesn’t always have to be revolutionary, and sometimes it’s good to reexamine past innovations to gain new ones,” Waterfield wrote.

For the third set of paintings, the artist took inspiration from classic jazz and mid-century modern styling.

Doug Waterfield

Waterfield wrote in his artist’s statement, “Music is a universal language, which is appealing. I photographed actual musicians I knew and used those references as the jumping-off point.”

The Minden Opera House Gallery at 322 E. Fifth St., Minden, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or my appointment.


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