We are very pleased to showcase recent works in oil on canvas by Kelly Lonergan. Originating in sketchbook drawings, Kelly's scenes of human figures show "outward activities while revealing something going on inside the figures as well. States of consciousness are somewhat altered, whether through reading, a trance, or dancing. Stylistically the paintings are representational, but not realistic. The resulting world, while resembling outward appearances, resonates with unknown realms within us."
All in-person arts events for Downtown Harrisonburg's First Fridays have been canceled for Friday June 5. However, we hope you'll be able to participate in the First Fridays Armchair ArtWalk, FRI JUNE 5th 5-8pm, featuring virtual gallery experiences presented by participating downtown venues and Arts Council of the Valley. Our event link: www.facebook.com/events/706769016741894/. For a virtual "stroll" thru this gallery show, visit our show photo album at the top of our fb page at https://www.facebook.com/LaughingDogTshirtsAndGifts/. All Armchair ArtWalk venue links can be found at www.facebook.com/firstfridaysdowntown/ and at www.valleyarts.org.
The show will also be available to view by appointment during the months of June/July with our specific safety measures in place. Love to see you! For more info on making a visit to our gallery, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 540.564.0928.
First Fridays events are sponsored by Arts Council of the Valley. For info on upcoming events for DOWNTOWN HARRISONBURG'S FIRST FRIDAYS check www.valleyarts.org.
Kelly Lonergan was born in Charlottesville, VA in 1954, and grew up in the nearby town of Orange.
Although he liked to draw as a child, his main interest became reading and writing. In high school, he excelled in his English classes, and went on to
earn a BA in English from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA in 1976 and
an MA in English from the University of Virginia in 1978.
Following graduate school, Lonergan began to travel extensively, supporting himself with a variety of odd jobs. In the early 1980s, he became
interested in the visual arts and began to paint. For five years, he worked in the studio of jewelry designer Linda van der Linde in Charlottesville, hand painting
the delicately sculpted porcelain pieces used in her necklace and earring designs.
From 1989 through 1991, Lonergan attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, where he earned an MFA in Painting and Printmaking.
In the early 1990s, he worked out of a studio in the McGuffey Art Center
in Charlottesville, VA and exhibited his work throughout the state of Virginia.
He began to teach art history and design classes at Germanna Community College and Piedmont Virginia Community College in 1994. The next year, Lonergan became an instructor and chair of the art department at Woodberry Forest School, an all-boys boarding school near Orange, VA. He retired from full-time teaching there in June, 2019, but he continues to serve as the director of the Baker Gallery in the school's Walker Fine Arts Center. He currently lives in Charlottesville, VA.
My paintings are derived from small drawings. I do the drawings based on whatever imagery comes into my head. I do them with a ballpoint pen and make corrections with Wite Out. If I like a drawing, I become curious to see if it might work on a larger scale as a painting. I blow up the image, drawing with the paintbrush. I use stains during this process to see how color choices affect the picture. Painterly passages result from heavier layers of paint used to make corrections to the drawing.
In making these drawings in my sketchbook, which almost always involve the human figure, I will invariably begin to develop a visual theme, exploring the subject matter in numerous variations. When this happens, I wonder if this recurring imagery might mean something. In these recent paintings, I am responding to a number of recent drawings, some of which feature a human figure reading a book, usually with a cat; human figures wandering at night; and scenes based on myth. Additionally, there are two pieces from a series based on the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. These scenes, while showing outward activities, reveal something going on inside the figures as well. States of consciousness are somewhat altered, whether through reading, a trance, or dancing. Stylistically the paintings are representational, but not realistic. The resulting world, while resembling outward appearances, resonates with unknown realms within us.