When artist Stan Meyer opens his show Thursday, March 21, at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, his mother Elaine will be the one standing nearby, beaming with pride.
"My mom was probably my earliest inspiration, as an artist." said Meyer. "When my brothers, Mark and Steve, and I were little she would sit down with us, give us some clay and encourage us to make figures that would be fun to make, like Flash Gordon figures."
If you goWhat: Stan Meyer Woven Expressions art exhibit
When: Opens Thursday, March 21, with an artist reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Gallery is open before theater performances; Meyer's exhibit will be on display through April 22
Where: Batavia Fine Arts Centre Gallery, Wilson Street at Western Avenue
Stan Meyer also credits his Batavia art teachers with inspiring him.
"In elementary school, Peg Bond introduced me to the great masters and then in high school, Diane Louderback brought in line drawings of the human body and then showed us how to create the human figure."
After graduating from high school, Meyer, who excelled in athletics in high school, went to Stout State University in Menomonie, Wis., on a basketball scholarship. He furthered his study at Southern Illinois University where he earned a master's degree in fine art. It was there that he discovered this new medium in contemporary craft.
"There was a small group of us in the mid-70s who started the contemporary craft movement," Meyer said. "My instructors at Southern were a big influence in the development of my art."
Meyer uses the geometric influence of church architecture in the creation of his art. A nationally recognized artist, he creates large woven wall pieces from simple materials: tar paper, dried pigments and buttermilk.
He was the first to do flat weave art and the first to create the tar paper flat art sculptures he is famous for. Was he the first to use buttermilk to create art?
"When I was in college, I read that Leonardo da Vinci used buttermilk to make the chalk adhere to the canvas. The buttermilk acts as a form of adhesive," he added, "similar to the addition of egg yolk to tempera paint. I was having trouble working with acrylics on the tar paper, and the oil paints took too long to dry. Adding pigments to buttermilk gave me the right mix."
Prices for his pieces range from $1,000 to $20,000 depending on the size and the amount of time involved in producing the piece. For his exhibit at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, Stan Meyer will be installing an 80-foot part piece on the balcony level. The piece is shipped in pieces and then Meyer reconstructs it for the art show.
"I am really excited to be able to bring my art back to Batavia," he said. "Batavia was a great place to grow up and a big part of my life."
Stan Meyer now works out of his studio in Evergreen, Colo. Meyer's resume is impressive. He is part of the permanent collection at the Denver Art Museum and in the New Gallery in Houston. He is also represented by a number of galleries throughout the west. His commissions include Amoco, Westin Hotels, Kirkland and Ellis, U.S. West and United Technology-Mostek Corporation, Carlsbad Airport Center and the United States Department of State, Cairo, Egypt.
Perhaps someday, we can add a Batavia location to the list.
For details on the show, visit bataviafineartscentre.org.