Exhibit expands definition of art

2013-08-16T00:00:00Z Exhibit expands definition of artCarrie Rodovich Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Joseph Perryman uses a computer as an artistic tool the way other artists use paint brushes or chalks, said Mary McClelland, gallery manager for South Shore Arts.

“People might glance at his work and think it’s clip art, but that’s not it,” she said. “He’s actually drawing items on the computer. There’s no one else quite like him right now.”

McClelland first got to know Perryman’s work through salon shows sponsored by South Shore Arts, and thought he was worthy of his own exhibit.

“It’s not painting, not drawing, not photography,” McClelland said. “It’s a different take on what art can be. A more modern take.”

More than 25 pieces are on display in the exhibit “Eclectic: Works by Joseph Perryman” at the Crown Point branch of South Shore Arts through Sept. 7.

Perryman has lived in Northwest Indiana for most of his life, and lived in Hammond since 1985. He attended Purdue Calumet and the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

After he developed severe allergies to art materials, he earned a degree in Information Technology form Purdue University. He worked for years doing general programming and web development, and earned his MBA from DePaul University.

For the last 10 years, he has been teaching and helping develop curriculum in the Computer Graphics department at Purdue Calumet as he pursued his art.

“Most of the art I create these days is digital, but I still enjoy using traditional materials and often add images created with them into my digital work,” he said. “I always try to use the best tool to express what I have to say. This blend of approaches often results in an image with a distinct visual quality that would be hard or impossible to create in any other way.”

The “Eclectic” exhibit on display in Crown Point is the culmination of several years of experimenting with digital art tools, he said.

“I wanted to see just how useful these tools could be in creating the types of work that I do,” he said. “I created hundreds of images in the various styles I enjoy. The works on display are some of my favorites.”

McClelland said she wants people to appreciate graphic arts as an art form, and wants people to realize how much skill is involved in the process.

“It’s not just going into Photo Shop and taking a picture and doing some things to it to make it look different,” she said. “(This) is something the 21st Century has to offer. It’s taking an accessible idea, like using the computer as an artistic tool, but at the highest level it can achieve.”

Perryman agreed.

“I want to expose (people) to what can be done digitally,” he said. “These days, it’s often hard to tell whether an image was created with a pencil and paper or a stylus and pixels, and I think that some people will be surprised at just how little difference there is.”

FYI: South Shore Arts Presents" Eclectic: Works by Joseph Perryman" at the Crown Point branch of South Shore Arts, 123 N. Main Street, through Sept. 7. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Exhibit is free and open to the public.

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