Anchorage Artist Nathan Perry is showing his work in Kenai for the first time — in a solo show titled “Elaborate Expressions.” The show, which opened Friday, will run throughout May at the Kenai Art Center.
“It’s a mix of color and black and white and I’ve got mainly portraiture,” he said, Thursday. “Wildlife and some landscape.”
There’s a lot of juxtaposition in the center’s main gallery, as Perry’s work varies from vivid color to detailed grays; depictions realistic and abstract; of wildlife and of people.
Color, Perry said, is something he’s still “very new at.” He said he started with only a pencil, focused on the proportions, elements, values and highlights.
But around seven years ago, he said, that changed.
“I just felt the need to work with color,” he said. “And it just gave a whole other dimension to my work.”
Now, he said, he leans into the stark contrast between his black and white work and the color where he tries to be as “bright and bold” as he can.
“To go from black and white to bold primary color, I found that to be almost liberating,” he said.
Painting animals and landscapes, Perry said, came naturally because he grew up in Great Falls Montana. He said in college he explored “edgier themes,” but he ultimately came back to nature because it was the “logical direction.”
Perry said he was drawn to show at the Kenai Art Center because he met people in the community and fell in love with the gallery when he visited an annual “Bird Call” show a couple of years ago.
“There’s something very authentic and very unique about the Kenai and a lot of towns that are outside of Anchorage,” he said. “Everybody has a story.”
For more information, visit kenaiartcenter.org.
Reach reporter Jake Dye at firstname.lastname@example.org.