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Gary L Wolfe, Katie, 2013, 24 x 18 inches, oil and encaustic on tar paper

Gary L Wolfe, Katie, 2013, 24 x 18 inches, oil and encaustic on tar paper

Class / Workshop  |  Watercolor Taken to the Dark Side: A Re-examination of Subject Matter and Social Responsibility

Thursday, July 14, 2016, 7–8:30 pm

International Center for Watercolor

Artist Inspiration Summer Salon Series with Gary L. Wolfe

$15 members/$25 not-yet members

When one thinks of watercolor painting, images of flowers, landscapes, classic urban architecture and occasionally portraits and figures come to mind.  Watercolor is a media of light and often light-hearted subject matter bringing to us the pretty and sedate side of life to enjoy and hang in our houses.

If a purpose of art is to tell the whole truth, to examine life in all its diversity, then there is a range of subjects that watercolorists have generally shied away from addressing.  Watercolor painters have not brought the light of their medium into the dark places of our lives, either by way of examination or in any attempt at aesthetic “redemption.”

This workshop will challenge watercolor painters to consider ways in which they may take their medium of light to the dark side of our social reality.  Participants will view work of Honoré Daumier, Diego Rivera, and the social realists and discuss how water media might be employed in addressing socially relevant subject matter.

Gary L. Wolfe earned undergraduate degrees in Christian Ministries from Houghton College and in Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  While working for local government in planning, developing and delivering health and human services to persons in need, Gary began producing and publicly showing his artwork with encouraging success.  This ultimately led to a return to school and the completion of a Master’s Degree in Painting and Art History from the University of Buffalo.

Gary’s varied life experiences and career have influenced his art. The elderly, children with disabilities, the disenfranchised and the poor, and more abstractly, the problem of pain, suffering, vulnerability and alienation have consistently informed his work.  Additionally, Gary’s Christian background and faith has been, as he puts it, “a formative influence and formidable adversary in the spiritual inflection and tonality of my art.”

Gary is twice past-president of the Buffalo Society of Artists, an occasional adjunct instructor at Daemen College and has served as a board member and consultant to local arts organizations.   He was honored with the “Arts and Community Service Award” from the Homeless Alliance of WNY for his collaborative work with the Matt Urban Hope Center in raising public awareness through his exhibition of painted portraits entitled, “Out of Darkness: Putting a Face on Homelessness.”

Gary’s work has been shown in Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Ann Arbor, Buffalo, Rochester and other cities in the Northeast as well as in Canada. He continues to live and work in Western New York.

No registration required, the Summer Salon Series are drop-in workshops.  
Bring your watercolor supplies and paper.
For further information contact Kathy Gaye Shiroki at 716.878.3549 or email