The Bainbridge Public Library is dedicated to spreading the joy of reading and the discovery of ideas with not just our local community, but with visitors from near and afar. In addition, the library is fortunate to house beautiful local works of art both inside and outside the building. Each month the library celebrates a local artist (or artists) with an exhibit, which opens monthly on the Island’s First Friday Art Walk tour, and includes a reception hosted by the featured artist.
The Bainbridge Public Library is proud to present an exhibit by artist John Wiens
John will host a “meet and greet” from 5pm-7pm on Friday, July 2nd to open his new exhibit, “Organic Lines” for First Friday Art Walk
John Wiens, grew up in California’s central valley area and attended USC. While studying at USC, John was awarded a travelling scholarship from their School of Architecture. Throughout 1962-3, John travelled to twenty-two countries, and although he packed light for the most part, he did take his two-inch-thick volume of the “History of Western Architecture” by Sir Banister Fletcher. Although taking such a large textbook on a journey of that magnitude was a bit unusual, John found it to be extremely beneficial in his studies of architecture throughout history. Using the volume as a guide, he learned how the various influences of climate, culture, and geography influenced architecture throughout time. As he travelled, he sketched what he saw using pencil, ink and conte, then sent the drawings back to USC to encourage others students to visit and study architecture.
After college, John practiced architecture for more than 30 years, mainly designing medical centers in the Fresno, CA area. During his architectural career, he often drew using pencil, ink pen, and computer imaging, all of which helped him master perspective in sketching and architectural rendering.
John’s inspiration to begin painting more frequently, came about when he travelled in Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and South America, sketching what he saw and adding in watercolor later. Near the end of his architectural career, he was invited to teach art at Fresno Community College. For five semesters he taught watercolor to students with no art experience, producing new artists that felt comfortable with brush, water, and paint.
In 2010, John and his wife, Hilda moved to Bainbridge Island to assist their daughter, Amy, and son-in-law, Brian with their two young sons. Although they’ve since moved to Olympia to pursue their careers, John and Hilda have remained on the island they’ve come to call home.
One of John’s favorite subjects, is the human form, and he has taken several classes on the subject while living on Bainbridge. For the past five years, he’s studied under the guidance of artist Wendy Orville, learning monoprinting, and has printed his work at her studio and at BARN. This past year, when BARN was closed to the public, John learned to print on his own and without a press.
As he told me, “I would say that my architectural training, my love of capturing place, landscape, and the human figure has brought me to a place where I work equally in painting and printing. Currently, I work mostly in printing. My prints are mostly abstract, but take their power from subjects and the freedom of the printing process.”
Since his first show at the Bainbridge Public Library in 2018, John has taken a course in calligraphy in Turin, Italy, and a ten-week class online from a Belgium calligrapher who taught Roman capitals. “All of these classes tie in with my obsession with the line, which is very evident in the current show titled Organic Line”, he said. His exhibit is inspired by observing the natural growth and movement of the outdoors, and static man-made objects. All but two pieces are monoprints done in the last three years
John’s work has been exhibited at venues throughout the island and in an architecture show in South Pasadena, CA since 2012. You can view John’s landscapes, abstract prints, and human form pieces on his website, at showmeartbyjohn.com, John encourages his online guests to contact him to discuss his work and the type of art they are interested in.
John’s exhibit is available for viewing and sale at the Bainbridge Public Library throughout the month of July in the meeting room during regular library hours and on the library website, www.bainbridgepubliclibrary.org.
And, as a bonus, this month in the display case, Deborah Rhee will present “Tiny Talismans”.
As always, thank you for supporting your Bainbridge Public Library and local artists. If you have interest in exhibiting your work, feel free to contact Linda Meier, art coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
***Library content and images provided by Linda Meier, Bainbridge Public Library and John Wiens