Dordt College News

Sheesley art exhibit at Dordt gallery

November 2, 2007


The work of Dordt College’s newest art professor, Peter Sheesley, is being featured Nov. 5-30 at the Campus Center Art Gallery, with a reception and gallery talk Thursday, Nov. 8, from 4-6 p.m.

Sheesley’s show includes three different series of paintings he’s created in 2007: contemporary representational painting, small abstract paintings, and on-site, plein air, landscape paintings of the Sioux County area.

Three larger Discard U.S.A. paintings metaphorically explore the human condition, relating psyche to surroundings. Sheesley explains, “The setting is a cluttered bedroom, with figures reduced in size relative to their surroundings. As the viewer enters the scene a new paradigm is created for understanding the psychological interior of the figures.” He adds, “The clothing and shoes seemingly discarded about the space become engaged with the figure and become telling signs about the figure.”

A series of 10 Global Ballet paintings play with the material qualities of oil paint and the painting process to discover unexpected visual worlds. This group was created through a process of building up layers of freshly-ground paint on top of imagery that was drawn and then digitalized.


Landscapes of the Sioux County area were painted on site (en plein air) in the past few months. “They attempt to capture the light, atmosphere, and character of the place where they were created,” says Sheesley, who added that the average amount of time spent working on each was two or three hours.

Sheesley received a M.F.A. in Figurative Painting at New York Academy of Art, and his undergraduate degree at Wheaton College. Last spring he taught introductory, figurative, and advanced classes in drawing and painting at Wheaton as a visiting art instructor. He has also worked as a theoretical scientific illustrator, an art handler, and an ice sculptor in New York City.

The Campus Center Art Gallery is open every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Pictured is “Laundry” a 2007 oil on canvas from the Discard U.S.A. series; and “Open Boat” a 2007 oil on board from the Global Ballet series.

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