Orr Street's Hearing Voices Seeing Visions 2019-20 season begins next Tuesday September 10th at 7:00 pm with guests, artist John Fennell, and poet Lynne Lampe. Join us for an evening of imagination, art and poetry!
Lynne Jensen Lampe's poems have appeared in Isthmus, South Florida Poetry Journal, New Letters, and The First Anthology of Missouri Women Writers. She studied with Larry Levis in his graduate workshop while earning her journalism degree at the University of Missouri and soon after received honorable mention in the first New Letters Literary Awards. After a decades-long detour into teaching, activism and visual art, she began studying and writing poetry again while researching her mother’s experiences in state mental hospitals. She edits books and journals in Columbia, Missouri, and is a member of Dame Good Writers and the Reflections poetry group.
Chicago native John Fennell has been a painter for more than 35 years and now works in Columbia out of Orr Street Studios. After graduating from Northern Illinois University, he attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago and then studied privately with artists Milford Zornes and Gianni Cilfoni. He later earned a master's degree in painting and drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has exhibited in Chicago and Milwaukee, as well as in St. Louis, Kansas City, Fulton, Ashland and Columbia, Missouri. His work is in many private collections. He recently retired as a professor at the Missouri School of Journalism where he taught magazine writing, design and publishing for 13 years. Before teaching, he was a journalist and editor. A former newspaper reporter, he assisted the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Mike Royko at the Chicago Daily News. For seven years he was the editor of the international design journal, Step-By-Step Graphics before becoming editor-in-chief of the award-winning monthly, Milwaukee Magazine.
About the Work:
Light in all of its manifestations has been my primary interest as a painter. Light is color and in a broader sense light is the foundation of seeing and a metaphor for knowing. Recent work explores color in three distinct areas:
COLOR FROM NATURE
The landscapes – influenced by the Hudson River School, the Impressionists, Cezanne, Matisse, Braque and others – are often painted or sketched outdoors and/or completed in the studio. I paint landscapes because I am fascinated by the natural world and the idea of transcendence, to be at once in the world and yet go beyond it. That’s what happens in painting, an act of the mind as much as it is of paint and brush. In a way, I become one with what I see, what I try to interpret. The landscapes are evidence of those journeys.
The geometric abstractions, influenced by the mid-century modernists, emphasize pure form and color – landscapes of the mind, if you will. I am particularly interested in how the mind orders line, shape and color from seeming chaos. I begin these explorations with random lines and swashes of color not knowing where the painting will lead. Guided by intuition, the lines and shapes gradually take form. As I add additional layers of paint – often over a period of weeks – I discover new patterns and colors.
The urban-inspired work begins with sketches on street corners. At times they remain true to the visual experience. In other works they transcend what I see into what I experience – the rhythm, color, and mood of urbanity. I think of these interpretations as visual music, like jazz. This ultimate transformation excites me because I am never sure where the painting will take me.