Campus News

Springfield: Pastel drawings by George Colin on exhibit

November 28, 2012

Pastel drawings by George Colin will be on display from December 4, 2012 – January 31, 2013 in the Charles E. Becker Library on the Benedictine University at Springfield campus at 1500 N. Fifth St. A reception for the artist will be held Thursday, December 6, at 12:00 p.m. in Becker Library for his exhibition entitled "Reflections from Salisbury."

George Colin is a folk artist living in Salisbury, Illinois. Colin has been making art most of his life. Colin sacked and moved flour for Pillsbury Company for 30 years before his retirement. During that time and the period that followed his retirement, he devoted his spare moments to painting. Colin displayed work along the road side and stored other work in a dilapidated barn next to the renovated garage he and his wife Winnie shared. At that time, his paintings were drawn on wrappers from large rolls of printing paper from nearby printing plants.

A visit to his home and studio in Salisbury will reveal that most of the contents are embellished. He works constantly, creating up to four new pieces a day. Currently he uses only high quality acid free paper and Rembrandt chalk pastels, although in the past he has worked at both oil painting and woodworking.

He deems his style "post naive." He paints in styles which have been called "Chagall-like" and "Picasso-like." Not deliberately derivative, his work incorporates his own sensibility and earnest, obsessive need to create. George is a true "outsider" artist, having never been professionally trained. He has art displayed at both the Smithsonian and the American Folk Art Museum in New York City.

When asked for the titles of his work, Colin answers that all of his pieces are untitled for a reason. His wife Winnie put it this way: "We don’t title the work because when someone buys a piece it is because they saw something in it that reminds them of something, or they see an image that is important to them. So we let the buyer give the artwork the title that they want it to have."

For more information about the art exhibition at Benedictine University at Springfield, contact Marianne Stremsterfer at (217) 525-1420, ext. 518 or mstremsterfer@ben.edu. The gallery is open from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Fridays and 12:00-5:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The gallery will be closed during the Christmas break.

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