Starburst exhibition brings color to 2020

Artist couple brings colorful, abstract art to Moscow gallery

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COURTESY OF KEVIN RHODES

"Starburst" is one of the paintings up for display in the Starburst Exhibition

JOEL KEMEGUE, Evergreen Mint editor

Sometimes, Kevin Rhodes will pull inspiration for his art pieces from a doodle he’s drawn in the past, but most of his pieces begin with a single line on a canvas, which he builds on by using bursts of color.

“I just get an idea and I see in my mind’s eye a line or a shape or a general scheme for a canvas,” Kevin said. “So I’ll do one line and from there I’ll build the design … I sort of let the thing emerge in front of me. In other words I don’t have a totally specific ‘Here’s what I have in mind’… it’s like a collaboration with the piece, it’s canvas.”

The “Starburst” exhibition by Kevin and Janet Rhodes, opening on Sept. 4th, will be the newest exhibit on display at the Third Street Gallery in Moscow.

The exhibit is made up of abstract pieces of different sizes, focusing on color and structure. A majority of the pieces are done by Kevin Rhodes, including paintings on canvas and two painted doors. He also hung multiple sketches and drawings across the gallery so viewers could see his process behind the paintings.  

“People really like the way I use color. [My paintings are] kind of a cheerful pop of color, which is in keeping with the word ‘Starburst,'” Kevin said.

Kevin said he wasn’t sure exactly how many pieces were in the exhibit, but many of them were originally meant for the Moscow Artwalk or other shows. 

He also included five pieces done by his wife, Janet, in the exhibit. Her pieces are one design in different colors, painted on 20 inch by 20 inch canvases shifted to hang by a point and cut so the bottom is circular.

Janet said she finds inspiration for her pieces through nature, and her art is usually more focused around that. She’s had work displayed in shows and clubs in the past.

Megan Cherry, Arts Program Manager for the city of Moscow, said the exhibition came out of Rhodes winning a poster contest, getting the exhibition and some of their work entering the city collection. 

Cherry said the gallery has taken safety precautions such as setting up a mask station and encouraging social distancing to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. She said even before the exhibit has opened, she’s received positive reactions from people walking by or getting a look at the art.

Cherry said that the Starburst exhibition is joyful and energetic.

 “It’s a really well-timed exhibition in that those words that I use to describe the exhibition … comes at a time I think we could all really use that.” Cherry said.

Kevin said he hopes the show does bring joy to people and that his art and use of color does often draw out a special reaction in his audiences.

“The first time somebody sees what I do, there’s like this pop or lift of joy, and I suspect that will be a very common response for people,” Kevin said.

The exhibit will close Dec. 4. Viewing hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.