Exhibit: In Plain Sight by Tom Roper
This exhibit is on display May 31-July 9, 2019 with a reception honoring the artist on Friday, June 7 from 5:00-7:00pm.
In Plain Sight: Images From Across the Prairie
I’ve titled this exhibit, “In Plain Sight” to acknowledge the big air, big land, far horizons and everyday objects that we often no longer “see” because they are ordinary images and constantly with us.
These paintings are also ‘auto biographical’ in the sense that I have a connection with the subjects either through experience or emotion. Whether it be symbols of western expansion, manmade monuments to the power of the “Big River”, elevators that pay tribute to the strength of agriculture or the ruins that reflect the loneliness of an abandoned ranch, sites of indigenous significance, or everyday footwear, we are surrounded by them, and they are all in plain sight.
I was born in the South, but due to my father’s occupation, spent my formative years in small towns in the west, primarily along the Missouri River. (Fort Peck, Montana, Pickstown, SD and Yankton.) I lived in Yankton from 1956 to 1963. Though I haven’t lived in the west for many years, I still consider myself a westerner and carry its influences with me.
My professional background is as a technical illustrator, first with Boeing, then with the Corps of Engineers, and later as an art director and designer instilled within me a ‘need’ for order. As a painter I fight that tendency, and the challenge is to “follow the image” which has led to a broader interpretation of the individual image. While my paintings remain figurative, they provide a platform for the private exploration of the process of painting.
Tom R. Roper