Harcum Art Gallery Presents Hal Shunk's Sabbatical Exhibition'

Show Features Latest Paintings, Prints and Sculpture

September 11, 2013

This piece is part of Hal Shunk's encaustic series that will be displayed this fall.

This piece is part of Hal Shunk's encaustic series that will be displayed this fall.

VIDEO Hal Shunk Discusses His New Works

Longtime art professor Hal Shunk is premiering his latest paintings, prints and sculpture at Wilmington College’s Harcum Art Gallery through Oct. 19.

Normal gallery hours are weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by special appointments arranged by Shunk, gallery curator.

Shunk, who completed much of the work during his faculty sabbatical last winter and spring, explained elements of his artistic motivation and creative process.

“I’m always searching for something different: a thought, a feeling, an emotion,” Shunk said.

“I paint non-objective pieces of life. If I painted a boat on a lake, everyone would see a boat on a lake. (Rather), I paint the sense of freedom you feel when you’re on that boat,” he said, noting that, ideally, when viewing his work, no two persons have the same experience.

Shunk described his artwork as a combination of spontaneous action and control.

“As I create, I try to let one action play off another — the result is often a combination of mistakes,” he added.

In recent years, he has embraced the artistic possibilities inherent with encaustic, a “forgiving” medium that utilizes colored wax in fusing colors.

“I paint in layers. I drip and melt the pigment to achieve the results I like — color and texture are most interesting,” he said.

Shunk said the inspiration for his work is the result of the power of observation.

“The tactile surface of rust, cracks in an old sidewalk, the arbitrary spots on an old banana peel — I don’t know if I see things differently or if I just spend more time looking.

“I hope that, in viewing the art, one will see the energy and emotion used in my creative process and enjoy each piece for what it is.”