The Gallery @ Barr Photographics announces the fourth installment of the Corner
Gallery’s 2017 exhibition series with an offering of oil paintings by Knoxville, TN artist Gary Dagnan entitled “Inspired By Nature”.
Gary has been drawing and painting since childhood. From a very early age, he was fascinated by how artists were able to create works of art by simply observing the world around them. He was impressed with the well-known illustrators of that time, such as Norman Rockwell, Jon Whitcomb and Stevan Dohanos who created paintings and illustrations for magazines such as Post and Life. He dreamed that he would someday be an artist like them.
Gary was born in the small town of Jasper, Tennessee and grew up in the East Tennessee area. At the age of eleven his family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where he later attended Bearden high school. He was fortunate to have had an outstanding art teacher, Marilyn Heilman,
who took a special interest in his talent and encouraged him to pursue art as a career.
After high school, Gary attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he majored in Graphic Design with an emphasis on painting and drawing. In his junior year of college Gary was offered a part-time position with the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service as a graphic designer. After graduating, he accepted a permanent position as Graphic Design Specialist with the Agricultural Extension Service. Gary graduated from the University of Tennessee in
1970, where he earned a BFA degree in Graphic Design and in 1985 an MS degree in Art Education. He retired from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture where he was employed as a Graphic Designer, Associate Professor and Illustrator for 37 years. He now devotes full time to fine-art painting.
His inspiration comes from the rural landscapes of the East Tennessee area. Most of his paintings are of the mountains, hills, lakes and structures of the East Tennessee area. He gets inspiration from the changing light and colors that come from the distinctly different seasons of the South. Many of his paintings are also of places and scenes where he and his wife, Diane, have traveled. Gary was fortunate that he had teachers, throughout his school years, which recognized his
talent and interest in art. Gary began painting watercolors in 1968, as an art student at the University of Tennessee. His early work was in watercolor, but oil is now his preferred medium. Most of his art is created in his studio from photographic references but he also paints en plein air and often joins a group of artists who paint in various areas around Knoxville. Gary began exhibiting his art in 1970 and had his first solo show in 1971. He has had 16 solo shows. He has participated in numerous national, state and regional art exhibits and his work is represented in more than 400 private and public collections throughout the United States.
In his artist statement Gary reveals, ““I want my paintings to express that emotional and
spiritual connection that I have with nature. I am more interested in the aesthetics of a scene than I am with documenting a specific place. When someone views my art, I would hope that they would have an emotional as well as a visual connection to the work.”
"Inspired By Nature” will be celebrated with a gala reception and art demonstration by Gary Dagnan, to which the public is cordially invited, on Friday, 11 August from 7 - 9:00 PM in The Gallery @ Barr Photographics, 152 E. Main Street, Abingdon, Virginia. "Inspired By Nature” will hang, and be offered for sale, through 30, September 2017. The Gallery @ Barr Photographics is housed in the Greenway Trigg Building, located in the heart of Abingdon’s main street historic district. Please call 276- 628-1486 or visit http://barrphotographics.com for further information.
Photo #1: “Autumn Breeze”, Oil by Gary Dagnan