John Hammer Art Exhibit
The John Hammer Art Exhibit features the work of Oklahoma artist, John Hammer. The exhibition features selected works from three of his series titled, “Peculiar Portraits,” “Tattered Aesthetic,” and “Stop: Fifty Ways to a Better World.” The curated exhibit will be on exhibit at the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center during regular business hours from June 26th through August 21st.
The art is available for purchase, as well as selected prints and screen prints of his work.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
John was born in Kingsville, TX and grew up in both Northfield, MN and Okmulgee, OK. He now lives in Claremore, OK. He has an art studio at home and was one of the inaugural Studio Artists at The Hardesty Arts Center in Tulsa, OK. He remembers first recognizing his artistic abilities in the 3rd grade and since then he’s been fulfilling his dream of being an artist.
Throughout John’s primary school years, he most enjoyed the art of pencil and ink drawings. He won several art competitions and that inspired him to keep developing his skills. When it came time for college he decided to pursue a degree in Graphic Design at OSUIT in Okmulgee. At that time, hand skills were the primary tools used to produce projects for clients. Once computer technology took over the design field he found himself developing those computer design skills and drawing less. But he never lost the desire to pursue his fine art, although painting continued to elude him.
In May, 2012, the day arrived that John would launch into that pursuit. He picked up a paintbrush and took off on an exciting new direction in his career. In a variety of subject matter, his design background and love of color really stand out in his current work.
As John follows his fine art vision, the goals are to keep his art diverse and his expressions varied. He says, “I’ll always paint and pursue new mediums, but I won’t forget my first love…the pencil”.
ABOUT THE WORK:
Peculiar Portrayals comes from a need I have to freely sketch with no pre-determined outcome. The portraits are first sketched in a small sketch book and then refined in a larger pencil sketch before screen prints, linocuts, paintings, sculpture, murals, or any other variety of art forms. The refined concept here is to display how one unique sketch idea can take on multiple identities just by changing the art form in which it’s rendered.
Tattered Aesthetic explores subjects that we pass by in our daily lives. Seemingly forgotten. They have seen better days and sit unchanged and defiant as the world around them continues to evolve. Once new and celebrated, they now wear the patina of time. This to me is what reveals their true beauty. I began this body of work traveling the back roads and scouring local flea markets. Searching for the tattered to capture. The backgrounds are layered with acrylic paint and then scraped and washed away to create texture, much like the natural progression of nature. Once the painting is complete, marks are applied to the canvas with pastel sticks to create a worn sense of abandonment and age. Old maps are then applied to the surface to add a sense of place. Finally, the art is framed with raw wood and metal roofing screws to pay homage to the materials found in the subjects portrayed.
STOP: Fifty Ways To A Better World
We are constantly bombarded with one message at a time, over and over, until the next news cycle brings the latest message. Then it starts all over again. This happens so quickly and so often, we forget about what we were just upset about. It keeps us only focused on what’s in the news now. This series of protest art was created to bring attention to all of these things at once. There is no order to them and one is no more important than the other. Each has cycled through the news and became number one, but has not gone away as the others have come to take it’s place, one by one. Each of these fifty pieces of art are comprised of two color screen printing, letterpress printing and digital printing. They are printed on paper and film, then mounted on cardboard. The title STOP: Fifty Ways To A Better World is attached to each temporarily with tape in the hope that this number will fall.