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The Turgid Valley Decadians Art Show

By Richard Holinger
Published in ART TIMES June 2013

This month, the Turgid Valley Art Gallery is proud to display artwork produced by artists born 80, 60, 40, 20 and 0 (a baby!) years ago.

Described herein with dates, you will find analyses of one representative work from each artist to suggest the mood, medium and thrust of his/her oeuvre.

Though the show is free and open to the public, donations of $2.00 would be warmly received.

For an additional $5.00, a self-guided CD, portable CD player and headphones may be rented. The TVAG’s owner and docent, Midge Powers (also the creator of this pamphlet), takes you on a wondrous and fact-filled tour through the many rooms (three and a half) filled with valley scenes, people and animals depicted on canvas and multi-media sculptures.

An additional CD featuring artist biographies—in their own words and voices—may be acquired for $10.00, plus $4.00 postage and handling (not ready at time of show).

Sale prices listed.

No.1: “Wood Duck”

Alfred Horner, b.1949

18ins.X 12ins. Oil on Canvas, $150.00

Drawn to scale, this life-like rendering posits that life not only imitates art, but mirrors it. If you saw a duck reflected in a mirror, you would not have as realistic an image as Alfred’s. It’s really, really duck-like. In fact, it may be a real live duck. That’s how life-like it is.

No. 2: “Jazzercizin’!”

Melissa Kruger, b.1969

3.5ft. X 2.5ft. Acrylic, $110,654.00

Be prepared to start movin’ your body when lookin’ at this first of a 19-part series from our hometown favorite-made-it-big-shot. Besides the in-studio dance portrait, Mel takes us on a foot-stompin’ odyssey across the valley, from the Two-Bit Burger Grill where bikers and cowboys alike hug their squeezes on the 10 X 10 dance floor to “Honkey-Tonk Woman,” to the Barn-on-the-Farm Festival, where there’s plenty of sashayin’ and bowin’ to yer partners inside the hay bale benches.

No. 3: “white on white on white on black on white”

“awful mellow,” b. 1989

30ft. X 30ft. paint, $99.99

(Oversized: please go to horse stall to view)

For the hip crowd, hometown legend Awful Mellow (born Francis Toy Temple), student of art at the nearby Turgid Valley C.C., pushes the postmodern envelope with paintings that might be called “sequels” if in the literary world. His canvas critiques, extends and fulfills the original’s promise, putting the old in a new light, the new in an old context.

No. 4: “Old Man River”

Salley Hawkins, b. 1929

Irregular. Matchbooks and glue, $5.00

What can be said about Sally’s sculptures that hasn’t already been said? She captures the old time characters we sing about around the campfire, hearth or Weber grill with startling accuracy using matchbooks glued together with passion, love and Elmer’s. Though everyone has his/her favorite, I confess “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” makes my heart flutter fastest, his Turgid Valley Bowl biceps bulging, his Sue-Ann’s Optical Options eyes staring blue, and his Surgery by Dr. Dan the Joint Man knees comically knocked.

No. 5: “Untitled”

Theodore Mackelroy, b. 2009

8.5ins. X 11ins. Crayon, pencil, finger paints, Jello, Mayonnaise, NFS

This infant’s work shows amazing promise. Not fully matured (at four months, two weeks, plus change), these line drawings and finger sketches exhibit a talent far surpassing Ted’s chronological age. If you’re looking for basement bargains, here’s your chance to purchase great art at minimal cost (too bad the present work is not for sale, in this dealer’s eye, his masterpiece). You know how everyone looks at a late Picasso, middle Rothko or early Cornell and says, “My two-month old can do better than that”? Consider it done.

Thank you for your patronage. Be sure to sign our guestbook on your way in or out. Your privacy is assured, though we will take the opportunity to advise you of upcoming events.

A complementary mint is available upon receipt of your voluntary donation.

(Richard Holinger lives in Geneva, IL)