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Columbus, Ohio USA
Art: Elizabeth Ann James, Columnist
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Two Five-Star Galleries
Kiaca and Lindsay

Detail of André Coleman's Louis Armstrong portrait, one of ten 4ft. tall drawings from the "Jazz" series, rendered by hand with graphite on handmade paper from France.

Kiaca Gallery, 941 N. High St., will exhibit the large remarkable pencil art of Andre Coleman from January 8 to February 28, 2009. “Echoes of Jazz” reveals Coleman’s love of music and musicians, especially jazz musicians, and just timeless wonderful jazz.

As a graduate of Ohio University with majors in graphic design, illustration and studio arts, Coleman works out of Studio Thoreau, Fine Art Design – “Where Art & Design Come to Play.” His design clients have included such corporate entities as Belvedere Vodka.

“I’m a jazz head,” Coleman said, “and there will be ten 4’ x 5' drawings in the show. I’ve tried to capture epic jazz legends in epic drawings, and yes, you can say it’s photographic realism, all in pencil, and an ongoing project.”

Among the strikingly big “portraits” are Billy Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles and, of course, John Coltrane and Dizzy Gillespie. The portraits were executed on imported paper from France that “makes the surface look like skin and is great for details.”

His studio name, Studio Thoreau, derives from Coleman’s admiration for Henry David Thoreau who wrote the American masterpiece Walden (and other works) which, like jazz, celebrates the independence of the human spirit. The studio business specializes in serving the creative needs of companies committed to green initiatives. Thoreau also happens to be a family name going back four generations in the Coleman family. Andre Coleman shares the same middle name (Thoreau) and last names as his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, “all great thinkers, and businessmen with enormous love and respect for the environment,” said Coleman.

Talle Bamazi, gallery director and owner of Kiaca Gallery, is one of the most dynamic and accomplished painters anywhere. Bamazi hails from a Togo village where people walk feet-on-the earth-for-miles, and where many people live to be over 100. His art is dazzling and sophisticated. His techniques, heavily grounded in academic training, soar in the imagination. He can be an abstractionist, a designer, a portrait painter, a cubist, and a darn strong technician. His life-sized portraits of such Columbus notables as Brenda Aminah Robinson and Kojo Kamau are astonishingly real, and along with other of his paintings have shown at the Columbus Museum of Art. He has painted women as gourds, has sketched and penciled costume-designs, has expressed memories of village life, you name it! His generous and unsinkable attitude makes him an excellent teacher for all ages.

The opening reception for “Echoes of Jazz” with the artist in attendance is scheduled Saturday, January 10. The hours at Kiaca Gallery are Tuesday through Friday 1 to 6 p.m. and Saturday 1 to 8 p.m. Call 614-298-0028 or visit for more information.

Lindsay Gallery
“Artists like Tim Lewis represent the spirit of this country; his spirit is the spirit of the people.” – Customs House Museum Cultural Center exhibition book.

Stone carvings by Tim Lewis will show at Lindsay Gallery, 986 N High St., at least through January 2009. The works are heavy, smooth, and irresistible. They stand on pedestals and against the wall, and they will steal your heart.

Like the proverbial teapot, Lewis’s cute, sometimes grotesque, sculptures are short and stout!

Rooster, a stone carving by Tim Lewis on view at Lindsay Gallery, 986 N. High St.

Kentucky sandstone is darn heavy when you’re pulling it on a cart of a wheel barrow. Luckily, Tim Lewis is a strong guy, a veteran, and he used to drive a truck for a strip mine, so he knows how to haul and drag his work around with aplomb. In 1989, he began carving wooden canes and went on to to do some carving in sandstone and limestone. His subjects are, to quote Chris Yates of The Columbus Dispatch, “angels, devils, religious scenes, athletes, workers, politicians and animals.”

Lewis’ work is traditional yet contemporary. His big toothy Rooster is as rowdy as a punch-drunk boxer, yet he is a traditional rooster, pure and simple – although his tail is bushy, like a squirrel’s. He’s too fat and plump for any pot! The big Sheep has fleece that resembles large gray Cheerios.

Lewis knows how to depict the rotundity of Adam and Eve, their illicit love and the apple and the coiled serpent in a heavy, shortened stone bower. His is familiar with the hard-as-granite spirituality of Three Guardian Angels, and he has seen a mermaid or two in his lifetime. Some of his work will show at the Columbus Museum of Art until February 22. His short, kneeling sandstone Catcher – big eyes piercing the face guard – is gargoyle-like, yet befits an American icon.

Lewis was recently proclaimed “Artist of the Year 2007” by The Folk Art Society of America. And there is a book about him, Time Made Real, The Carvings of Tim Lewis, published by the Custom’s House Museum & Cultural Center, Clarksville, Tennessee.

Self taught and lovely, Vivian Pitman shows at Lindsay in February 2009. This artist continues to grow in technique and in her own brand Gospel-based spirituality. She can call us to task and be slightly sarcastic. Her narrative brushwork includes vivid Vivian hues and lively subject matter. Go, Vivian, go – I can’t wait for your show! Tim Lewis and Vivian Pitman will continue to be available through Lindsay Gallery at 986 N. High.

© 2009 Short North Gazette, Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved.

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