Frederick Gallery to Unveil Work by Master Art Teacher Myron Barnstone In Historic 5-Month Revolving Exhibit
Drawing above by Myron Barnstone designed in a root 2 Dynamic Symmetry rectangle
Frederick, Maryland, February 6, 2018 – The late iconic fine art instructor Myron Barnstone is not a household name – yet. The ArtistAngle Gallery in Frederick takes the lead in changing that at 1 p.m. March 11, when it formally kicks off a 5-month revolving display of Barnstone’s work. It will be the first public showing of Barnstones' paintings, sketches, and photos since his wildly successful exhibit in Paris in the mid-1960s. Original works of some of his most accomplished students will also be displayed.
Evolution: Growing into Mastery will feature eight of Barnstone’s works never before viewed by the public. The exhibit will also reveal the process of going from a rough sketch to a finished drawing through works created by several of Barnstone’s alumni who have excelled in their own artistic careers. Environment: Listening to the Land opens at the ArtistAngle in April, and shows how living in England, Spain and France impacted Barnstone’s creative expression. The final themed exhibit, Emotion: How Art Awakens the Soul, will feature works by Barnstone and his stand-out student Christopher Parrott in June. In July, the gallery transforms into a one-man show, with some of the emotionally-charged paintings from Barnstone’s “Survivors” work, focusing on the tragedies of the Holocaust and nuclear war.
“I’m so excited to be a part of introducing Myron Barnstone’s work to the public,” said ArtistAngle gallery owner Jennifer Finley. “His use of textures and colors is phenomenal. You can sense his art is going to become very prominent, very quickly.”
What makes Barnstones' contributions to the art world so unique are two key factors. First, he put his own personal career as an artist on hold after widely acclaimed European exhibits to teach instead. For 35 years, he instructed thousands of people of all ages in his Coplay, Pennsylvania 3rd floor walk-up studio. And second, he indoctrinated his students into the secrets the classical masters knew — he taught them the discipline and symmetry of design using the Golden Section.
As Barnstone was gaining a global following for his early work, he was growing increasingly frustrated that the tools master artists utilized for centuries had been discarded in favor of contemporary art schools stressing spontaneous “creativity." He wanted to give students a disciplined foundation for their creative artistic vision. Only after you know the rules can you intelligently break them, he often advised his classes. Barnstone locked his own work away so his students would never even unconsciously attempt to mimic his style.
In elaborate dissections overlaying masterpieces by greats like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Pablo Picasso, Barnstone illustrated to his students how the precise application of geometric principles brought movement, depth and feeling to design, sculpture, photography, architecture, and any other artistic medium.
The globally respected Barnstone, who passed away October 29, 2016, at the age of 83, was known for often being painfully direct in his critiques. Rather than being intimidated by Barnstone’s intensity, students continuously filled his classes at the studio’s 10,000-square-foot facility in Coplay.
A good measure of Barnstone’s effectiveness is how hundreds of his alumni have become instructors at prestigious universities and art institutes, authors, professional artists, and leaders in industrial design, pastels, photography and even animation. They hold key positions in global corporations such as Disney, Pixar, Nike, ArenaNet studios and Lowes.
The 5-month Barnstone presence at the Frederick gallery represents the culmination of months of work sorting through Myron’s 500 paintings, sketches, and photographs which were hidden from view for decades. The pieces are being painstakingly conserved, framed and cataloged in preparation for future exhibits around the country, and the globe.
A limited number of prints of selected Barnstone paintings will be available for sale at the ArtistAngle during the five months of the Barnstone exhibits. All will come with a certificate of authenticity.
In addition to the changing Barnstone exhibits from March through the end of July, the ArtistAngle will recreate the Barnstone Studios environment with a Learning Lounge, where a limited number of students can sign up for a 3-week Barnstone Method drawing class in June. Three distinguished Barnstone Studios alumni will each teach key elements of classical drawing, sharing how to recognize geometric principles, create 2D illustrations and then develop 3D skills to bring depth and movement to their work. The $250 fee for the classes June 9, 16 and 23 includes all materials. Barnstone recorded his lectures, and they continue to be available online at BarnstoneStudios.com. Students desiring to further their Barnstone studies can purchase the DVD set, and their entire class fee will be applied to the price of the complete course.
Barnstone’s daughter is in the process of creating both a book about Barnstone’s life and work, and also an educational foundation to restore and exhibit his paintings, and to further art education. For more information about Myron Barnstone and his work, call Cat Barnstone Szafran at 301.788.6241.
The ArtistAngle Gallery is located on the east side of historic downtown Frederick on the corner of South Carroll and Commerce Streets. Once an old granary, the current gallery space is a masterpiece in itself. The gallery features work from local, regional and national artists. Exhibits rotate every 4 to 6 weeks and are normally scheduled up to one year in advance. Throughout the year the gallery hosts art and custom framing-related demonstrations, and lectures for artists and art lovers. Contact the gallery at 240.285.3758, or through the website at www.theartistangle.com.
Art Highlights is a blog about what's going on with me, my photography, and the art world in general.