Visual artist Mike Lavelle’s artwork debuted in the Waldorf College Art Gallery last month as the latest in the gallery’s series featuring local artists. Lavelle, an Algona, Iowa resident, selected pieces from his abstract expressionism works to display.
“These works have given me the opportunity to free myself from the rigidity of realism,” Lavelle said. “They’re a vehicle for my expression of what I want to communicate as an artist. I hope viewers of my art will enjoy the explosion of color as many pieces depict the changing of our Iowa seasons.”
Lavelle’s work was selected due to his unique style, according to Waldorf College Art Gallery Director Dean Swenson.
“His style is so opposite of what we’ve displayed so far this season,” Swenson said. “He has a unique way at looking at nature. The thing that strikes me about his work is his intense use of color and texture in his oil paintings.”
Artwork by Lavelle frequently has thickly applied paint to create a dramatic texture. He typically begins painting without a final image in mind, preferring instead to let the art flow from him wherever it may lead.
“Sometimes ego can really screw up artwork,” Lavelle commented. “I mix my paint on the canvas and like to react to what is happening.”
Lavelle’s exhibit runs through March 3. An artist reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with artist talk beginning at 7 p.m. The Waldorf College Art Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 10p.m. when classes are in session and charges no admission fee.