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Parris Gill

Parris Gill Sr.

Photo by Raymond Boyd

“The Pain’t In My Life,” Parris Gill Sr.’s exhibit at Gary’s Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, is a career goal fullfilled for the Gary-based artist.

“I’ve always told myself, even when I was just doodling, that I was going to exhibit somewhere and do it before I was 40,” he said. “I had made that sort of self-prophecy when I was in my mid-20s and it just came to fruition.”

Gill was reared in and resides in Gary. Artistically inclined for more than two decades, Gill studied art at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and at Robert Morris College.

Gill, who is finishing up studies for an art education degree at Indiana University Northwest, is currently teaching young budding area artists at the Higher Institute of Arts and Technology in Merrillville.

Finding inspiration in acclaimed portrait painters such as Kehinde Wiley and Tamara de Lempika, Gill created the pieces featured in “pain’t” over the course of the last 10 years. Forty original paintings make up “pain’t.” The exhibit continues to Sept. 24.

“A lot of it is a reflection of what I went through personally over the years,” Gill said. “There’s not an overall theme. It’s just random topics of things like sexuality, cultural issues and relationship themes.”

Gill hopes the pieces in his solo debut show, “The Pain’t In My Life, ” inspire discussion amongst exhibit visitors.

‘(The exhibit is) about getting to know me as an artist, but it’s also about getting to know that person standing next to you and looking at that work,” he said. “I would like for people to have a conversation whether or not they agree or disagree about what that picture means.”

Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts is open 6  to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.

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