The Newman University Steckline Gallery will present “Books and Cardboard Portraits” by artist Deloss McGraw as the final show of its 2011-2012 season. The exhibit, which begins with a Final Friday reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 27, will be on display through May 18. Both the reception and admission to the gallery are free and open to the public.
A Senior Show by Newman students Stephanie Fleming of Chanute, Kan., and Jasmine Ware of Oklahoma City, Okla., will also be featured in the Hallway Gallery just outside the Steckline Gallery. Fleming and Ware will graduate in May with degrees in art.
An “Art for Lunch” presentation by McGraw will be held Tuesday, May 1 from noon to 1 p.m. in the gallery. A light lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests can also bring their lunch. This event is also free and reservations are not required.
McGraw is a highly successful and well-known artist whose work has received critical acclaim in over 80 solo exhibitions. His work is exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe, and collected by many institutions at home and abroad, including The Library of Congress, the Whitney Museum of American Art Library Collection, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and Oxford, Syracuse, Temple and Cornell Universities. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York recently acquired two of McGraw’s paintings. His illustrated version of Alice in Wonderland won the Illustrator’s Society Book of the Year Award for 2002.
Both a painter and a poet, McGraw grew up in Oklahoma and moved to California to pursue his dream in art at California State University, Long Beach and the Otis Art Institute. In 1969, he earned a bachelor’s degree from CSU, Long Beach, and in 1973 earned an MFA from Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Three years later McGraw discovered the work of W.D. Snodgrass, a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, which inspired McGraw to send Snodgrass paintings that incorporated the poet’s text. Snodgrass, in turn, responded with new poems inspired by these images, and thus occurred a melding of media and ideas between the artists. Since then, McGraw has developed a pictorial style in which recognizable forms are morphed by his imagination into objects of poetic fancy. His figuration has been inspired by a so-called ‘outsider art,’ particularly the work of American folk artists that McGraw had collected since his childhood. From those the artist’s work has derived its rough-hewn quality.
A review of McGraw’s work and recent show called “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” at the Couturier Gallery in Los Angeles can be found in the Entertainment section of the April 12, 2012 Los Angeles Times, or here.
The Steckline Gallery is located inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center on the Newman campus, 3100 McCormick. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 316-942-4291, ext. 2199.