Two gentlemen of a certain age are coming together to show their artwork at Durango Arts Center.
“Two Old Guys,” which features the work of local artists Peter Alphonso Martin and Mike Scieszka, will kick off with an opening artist reception at 5 p.m. Feb. 22 at the DAC.
A little about the two:
Peter MartinMartin and his wife, Dolores, moved to Durango from Albuquerque in 2016 to be closer to family, he said, adding that this is his first show in Durango.
He will contribute about 24 pieces, mostly acrylic on canvas with some on mylar mounted on canvas. Some giclee prints will also be available. He said he would categorize his art as “conceptual portraiture,” based on invented faces without any models.
Martin said he has always been an artist, beginning when he was in his early teenage years. His passion turned into a long career in illustration and graphic design.
“The most inspiring and energizing art to me personally is art from several categories: pen and inks by Hienreich Kley and David Stone Martin; portraits by Chuck Close, Ann Gale and Helene Schjerfbeck, the paintings by Mark English,” he said. “The very first inspiration was the work of war artist and correspondent for Life Magazine, an artist named Tom Lea during the 1940s when I was in grade school.”
Mike ScieszkaScieszka and his wife finally decided to move to Durango from East Lansing, Michigan, in May 2017 after having spent more than a decade visiting family here.
“We looked at our budget and figured, ‘We’re paying too much on travel. We were coming out four to six times a year,’” he said. “I’m a runner, a hiker, a biker, so I just fell in love with the whole culture out here.”
He said he had two different career tracks – he worked for about 10 years with a large computer company and then in state government, where he was chief information officer and chief executive officer in various agencies.
And while Scieszka worked in those positions, his passion, like Martin’s, is in art.
“In high school and college, I took art classes and enjoyed every minute of it, but then I started looking at the market, and I figured, ‘Am I going to be able to support a family on my efforts?’ and I said ‘No.’ (laughs) So, I kept dabbling at it,” he said. “Then when I turned 50, I said, ‘Hey, I’ve got to get back into this,’ and took a couple of classes, one was on color theory and the other was an advanced watercolor, and I’ve been going to town ever since.”
He retired about seven years ago and became a partner in an art gallery in Lansing. He also worked with three other art galleries, primarily teaching and showing his works.
When the Scieszkas moved to Durango, Mike said he submitted some works for the Members Show at DAC and they sold. He did another show about a year ago at DAC, and got on the DAC board, and was recently named president.
He said he will have about 25 to 30 pieces divided into six groups in “Two Old Guys” – he will show pieces that feature Durango cyclists, villages and a group he calls “Sounds in Motion.”
For the two artists, “Two Old Guys” is a great way to get two local artists together to show what they can do.
“The benefits and importance of an exhibit combining two mind sets and approaches to artistic expression that complement one another allows the public a greater visual experience opportunity,” Martin said.
Added Scieszka: “We came up with the title and that tickled people’s funny bones, so we’re off and running.”