Art professor Jack Maxwell – the visionary artist responsible for the Jacob’s Dream sculpture – will be opening his new exhibit of paintings, Sacred Spaces, with a reception tonight at the ACU Downtown Gallery. This new show offers “intimate perspectives from recent travels in the United Kingdom and Italy.”
Despite the conviction that God has called him to be a sculptor, Maxwell considers painting to be deeply fulfilling and full of spiritual significance.
“I see a lot of metaphor in objects,” Maxwell said.
From the purity of a simple metal bowl to the comfort offered by a radiator, everyday objects offer a wealth of insight to him. But the grandeur of something like Jacob’s Dream can still be seen in his paintings. Some of the new offerings include a vase of flowers bathed in a rich interplay of light and shadow as it rests in front of a majestic stained glass window, an exquisite Romanesque church interior where Jesus hangs upon a crucifix and an expansive pasture full of roaming Scottish sheep. Maxwell’s many journeys to Oxford University, the Scottish highlands and Italian cathedrals combined with an abundance of time spent lost in thought in West Texas churches inspired his latest works.
In describing his personal style, Maxwell briefly mentioned his use of oil paints and how he coats his canvases in cardboard-brown before he begins. This isn’t what defines his painting, however, but as “carefully observed realism in combination with spontaneous brushwork.” In the past few years, Maxwell’s art has been displayed at the ACU Downtown Gallery and a feature in many of Abilene’s monthly ArtWalk events. Now he hopes to draw more attention to this important aspect of ACU culture and invites the student body to come out for tonight’s reception.
“If you’re not into going to museums, I think this is accessible to most people. It’s relatable in that it’s not totally abstract, and I think that people can connect more easily with that. I hope you can be moved by some of the things I saw. If you’re moved at all, that’s my goal,” Maxwell said, addressing the entire campus.
The reception will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the ACU Downtown Gallery, at 1133 N. 2nd Street, and Sacred Spaces will stay open until Oct. 24. For more information, contact Jack Maxwell at email@example.com.