Local gay painter Jay Maggio explores vibrant landscapes, woody perennials
He paints trees. But when Dallas artist Jay Maggio’s brush hits the canvas, the trees come alive, glistening and almost speaking to the beholder.
A quote from the “artist statement” highlights what’s behind Maggio’s vision: “The lone, large tree in an infinite expanse of land reflects a feeling of oneness, inspiring a sense that we represent a small
but important part of our country, our world, our universe.”
On Friday, he presents new works at the Pan American Art Gallery. This is his second solo exhibition at the Pan American.
Raised in New Roads, La., Maggio developed an early love for trees. Set on surreal and colorist landscapes, his paintings are an homage to their majesty and grace.
Maggio attended Louisiana State University, studying automotive design. But he first moved to North Texas in the early ’80s when he transferred and eventually graduated from Northwood University in Cedar Hill.
His career as a painter didn’t really take off until 2000, and then it really took off. Back then, some individual pieces were fetching more than $7,000.
Maggio was most recently honored with a solo exhibition at Northwood University. His paintings have been collected by the Scottish Rite Hospital of Dallas, the Turtle Creek Association, AIDS Services of Dallas, and by private collectors throughout the U.S.
Each of the paintings tells a story some celebrating the renewal of nature with trees in full blossom, one suggesting infinity in its repetitive forms, others bearing colors as cold as death itself.
Pan American Art Gallery, 3303 Lee Parkway at Hall Street. Maggio attends the opening reception, Feb. 24 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Free. Exhibition continues through April 1. Regular hours: Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat., 12-6 p.m. 214-522-3303.
If you attend the Uptown Players’ production of Aida at the Trinity River Arts Center, check out the gallery across the hall from the theater space. Local gay artist William H. Miller is showing “Digital & Paint,” a mixed-media exhibit of large-format digital work.
To create his digital works, like “Framed, above, Miller begins with computer painting programs, like Corel Canvas Painter IX. When completed, the works are printed onto canvas and stretched over frames. Sometimes Miller embellishes the design with acrylic paint.
Through March 5 at the Trinity River Arts Center Gallery, 2600 Stemmons Freeway. Suite 180. Wednesday-Saturday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays, noon to 2 p.m. www.whimdesigns.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, February 24, 2006.