Culture » Visual Arts

Jesse Stockwell’s first solo exhibit proves big, bold and beautiful


Giant, colorful canvases will comprise the aptly named Big, Bold and Beautiful show, featuring the paintings of Jesse Stockwell, which will open at Art 111 on First Friday. While some of Stockwell’s work has hung in the gallery in the past year, this show will be his first solo exhibition.

“It’s made up of large pieces with a lot of texture,” says Stockwell, who “went off on a tangent with all the extra time left to spend inside the house, really dedicated myself to the process of painting. I’m excited for everybody to get a chance to see it.”

Stockwell began painting a little over two years ago when a lull in work freed up time for him to start a new project. In the early stages of painting, he was inspired by abstract and expressionist works. Since his first purchase of canvas and paints from a craft store, he has thrown himself into his work, perfecting, learning and growing as an artist. Soon, he was able to develop his own unique style — big, bold and beautiful.

“I made a decision to put all of my effort into painting, and I think that will show in the work I will be sharing. I think right now is one of the most creative time periods I’ve been in when it comes to my paintings and I have really put in the extra work to get it done and make it high quality,” says Stockwell. He adds that the hours once spent going out and doing things shifted into increased hours at home working on his paintings once the pandemic shut down social activities.

“It’s given me a chance to really look and dig deeper into what I want to do creatively.”

Stockwell says he’s a perfectionist at heart, which serves him well in his artistic style and his day job as a construction superintendent, the latter of which he refers to as “organized chaos.”
“In finishing in a big construction project, it’s all about the details. I put that kind of same thought process into my painting,” he says.

Stockwell’s ability to grasp the vast size and sheer number of details involved in construction has indeed translated to his ability to master the attention required to fill large canvases. Painting in layers of acrylic, Stockwell creates art that envelops you as you view it — which is exactly his intention.

“The idea is to put the viewer in the painting and not have any outside distractions while looking at it. It becomes all-encompassing.”

Socially distant First Friday opening, June 5, 5-8 p.m., Art 111, 111 E. Bijou St.,

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