Celebrating the descendants of an artistic work

Art providedOne of the works of David Baker for his latest exhibit "Progeny."

MICHIGAN CITY — The Rising Phoenix Gallery will host a solo exhibit by St. Joseph artist David Baker, that will explore the idea of reproduction in painting.

The exhibit, titled "Progeny," meaning descendants or offspring, features two oil paintings on oak panels which are themselves two generations removed from observational paintings of broken trees done ‘en plein air (painted outdoors as opposed to in a studio). The remainder of the exhibit features 13 new works created using acrylic ink and colored pencil. According to Rising Phoenix Gallery, each work is a poetic improvisation based on the two original oils. While they share some DNA with their great-grandparents, they are free spirits in both subject and style.

Baker holds a master of fine arts degree from Indiana State University. He has worked in a wide variety of media, from egg tempera to wax crayon to wood sculpture and has explored nearly every painting medium. Most of his work has been in oil, watercolor, and charcoal. Using acrylic ink for "Progeny" has allowed Baker to explore and master yet another medium. Baker has maintained a long relationship with the Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, Michigan, and is currently part of the faculty of Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph, Michigan.

“My work all grows out of personal experience," Baker said in a press release from Rising Phoenix. "Sometimes it is just the experience of being present and attentive to the day. Often the paintings are musings about the human condition or spiritual matters. They are informed by personal experience and by the observation of nature. I find moments in the natural world that read as metaphors for my own existence. Sitting. Looking. Reflecting. I look beyond the physical realm.”

"Progeny" opens with a free public reception as part of Michigan City’s popular First Friday Art Walk. Gallery owners, John and Nora Ryszka, encourage First Friday attendees to make the Rising Phoenix Gallery their first stop of the evening as they head toward the Uptown Arts District to visit the many shops and galleries participating in the festivities. The opening begins at 5 p.m., with light hors d’oeuvres and an opportunity to meet the artist and learn more about his fascinating process.

The Rising Phoenix Gallery, 2803 Franklin Street, Michigan City, features the work of 25 local and regional artists and boasts an in-house glass studio with frequent live demonstrations, tutorials, and classes. "Progeny" continues through July 28.

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