The expressive and fantastical paintings and wooden sculptures of Harry Melroy are now on display through Sept. 20 at the University of Findlay’s Lea Gallery in the Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion. A reception will be held today from 7-8:30 p.m.
The Lea Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. All exhibits are free and open to the public. Melroy, a former adjunct art instructor for UF, retired as an art teacher at Mohawk Junior High School in Sycamore, Ohio. Several of the pieces in this exhibition are for sale.
Melroy’s 2-dimensional works are inspired by photographs and conceived as subjective doodles. “Because of its surrealistic qualities, the finished work is certainly not meant to be a snapshot of reality,” he explained. “In spite of this ongoing ambiguity, I’ve never felt a need to interpret the subject matter, as this would be pure speculation. However, I’m sure that, as in many art forms, the imagery is rooted in the unconscious or subconscious. This feature allows for the creation of visual narratives where places and participants come together for nonsensical events,” he explained in his artist statement for this exhibition.
In contrast, he acquires ideas for sculptures from his existing inventory of craft store items, flea market finds, and wood scraps. “The objects are often sawed and modified before they are arranged and then fastened to each other,” he said. “I want every newly born construction to appear natural, as if the individual parts have always been together.” Sometimes it takes Melroy weeks to make his sculptures.
The colors for both 2-D and 3-D works are chosen arbitrarily and are juxtaposed in passages that complement the overall design. “A hue is selected because of the way it invigorates or completes the visual space that border it or surrounds it,” he noted.
The final pieces are intended to be participatory. “Viewers are encouraged to follow their own inner voices when attaching stories to images,” Melroy, a former adjunct art instructor for UF, emphasized.