SCRATCHING THE SURFACE
July 15 – August 26
Please join us for a Gallery Talk
Saturday, August 12
Reception begins at 3:30, Talk starts at 4 pm
When I was 12 years old, until I was 21, I worked at Imperial Display, a thriving store on Main Street in Wheeling, West Virginia. The shop was full of plastic flowers from Japan, and during Christmas boasted a Holiday Tree Land. Nothing local could rival this display of everything plastic with decorated trees in all colors. One had a snow machine attached to the middle and a skirt below would collect the plastic snow and recycle it. I decorated trees, made wreaths, palm trees for luaus, and arrangements for tables–and even for graves. My boss, the store’s founder Isadore Mendolson, added craft and teacher’s supplies. Since the new products didn’t come with displays, Isadore told me to take whatever materials I needed to create store samples. I worked with papier mache, resin casting, jewelry, and all sorts of paper crafts in the studio my dad built for me at home off my bedroom. I became familiar with myriad products, and had no fear of mixing them together to create all sorts of interesting pieces for the store.
My familiarity with materials, working on so many different projects, has led to my current paintings. I crave variety in both my subject matter and technique. I’m drawn to bold shapes and bright colors. I am inspired by the work of David Hockney, Keith Haring, Norman LaLiberte, and Stacy Crabill. Folk and religious art has always appealed to me, and unusual objects I’ve collected often find their way into my work.
Art should be fun and exciting to look at. There is nothing more sensual than making marks through wet paint. Mixing, glazing, scraping, and all the physical aspects of
creating art comforts my soul.
ABOUT PAUL HRUSOVSKY
Paul Hrusovsky received a BFA, MA, and MFA from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio. He continued his post-graduate work at Washington University, St.Louis.
He showed locally at Somerhill and Tyndall Galleries as well as Craven Allen Gallery, where he was gallery director for many years.
He has also had shows at WCU at Cullowhee, UNC at Chapel Hill, and numerous locations throughout St. Louis, Missouri.
Paul was a founding member of frank gallery in Chapel Hill and long maintained a working studio and retail space in downtown Chapel Hill. His works are found in numerous private and corporate collections.
PAUL HRUSOVSKY AND CRAVEN ALLEN GALLERY
When I started putting shows together for Craven Allen my main job was to identify local artists who may have something exciting to communicate through their art. It was more difficult in the 90’s because the area was smaller and artists not as prevalent. But we put together some memorable shows: Max Rada Dada and Kim Irwin’s provocative large format Polaroids, Mark Brown’s paintings, Kathy Kiffney’s ceramics, eclectic works by Lewis St. Louis, beautiful hand-built pots by Jim Lux, exquisite photographs by Phil Freelon and thought-provoking installations by Cici Stevens, Bryant Holsenbeck and George Jenne, just to name a few.
I enjoyed the curation work especially since I had the trust of the owners. Together we made a mark on the Triangle by showing quality work and by providing support for the artists.
On this being my over fifty years of making art and 30+ years affiliated with the gallery along with my 75th birthday, I thought it apropos that I celebrate these milestones with my friends, Craven Allen Gallery.
Paul gives a short tour of some of his pieces in this video on Instagram.