Paintings by Dal Macon Jr., Union College instructor of arts and humanities, recently became a national focus at the 2012 Contemporary Realism Biennial exhibit.
Macon said a string of coincidences led him to enter his art for consideration in this exhibit, located at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Fort Wayne, Ind.
“I received a postcard, as artists often do, telling me about the exhibit,” Macon said. “I had not entered an exhibit in awhile, but I had a couple of paintings and decided to enter.”
Macon’s paintings, along with 68 other pieces of art, were selected for a display of “America’s top realists,” according to the exhibit’s website. Macon considers the fact that his art was selected a huge compliment, as well as an opportunity.
“There is a nice satisfaction to being recognized, like my art is good enough to be appreciated by a stranger,” Macon said. “But from the point of view of opening doors, if a person has a list of national exhibits they have been chosen for, that can be a reason to be included in another exhibit.”
The first painting Macon entered is called “February Afternoon.” It shows a bleak, gray day in winter that also conveys the hope that winter will be over soon, Macon said.
“There’s something about the gray, overcast sky that has a definite feeling to it. It is in February, when winter has been going on for three months, and there’s this perseverance of winter still going on,” Macon said. “But there is a line of sun through the clouds to give the feeling that all is not lost.”
His other painting, “Saturday Morning,” uses very bright, light colors, and depicts a kitchen being highlighted by the morning sunrise.
“That general feeling of being up early in the morning—everyone else being in bed, the house being quiet—and seeing the sun come up inspired me to paint this scene,” Macon said. “I really liked that feeling.”
Contemporary realists like Macon try to make art appear as lifelike as possible. So much so, that most of Macon’s paintings look more like photographs than they do actual paintings. The two pieces, “February Afternoon” and “Saturday Morning,” will be displayed until October 28.