Former CMU alum brings art show to Main Art Gallery
Two paint spattered boards sit on podiums in in the back of Bruce Thayer’s American Dog Walker exhibit.
On them are drilled deadbolts, a bike horn and a small Tweety Bird sticker. Though they don't look like much at first glance, the boards are Thayer’s favorite piece presented in the hall; they were his father’s Alzheimer's memory therapy boards.
Having very little classical training with art prior to college, it was Thayer’s father who tried to push him away from pursuing a bachelor's of fine arts in painting. Ironically it was his father, and his father’s work within the auto-industry, that inspired the overall feel for many of his paintings and prints.
As a former CMU alum, Thayer has spent the last 30 years touring the Midwest with his work. American Dog Walker is the latest exhibit to be put on by Thayer, and his first ever show in Mount Pleasant since graduating in 1974.
“I was just doing (art) because it’s what I liked to do,” Thayer said. “When I was little, I would miss a lot of recess because I’d be doing doodling when I should have been doing school work.”
Other pieces in the show ranged from outlandish and funny to more somber and solemn. Thayer said the duality of emotions is all a part of his gallery’s charm.
“Even though I’m working with humor, I still want the underlining narrative to be serious,” he said.
Although attendance was small in number on the first day of the show, those present seemed entranced with Thayer’s work. Laura Coffee, a 2004 CMU alum, said the exhibit was a visual treat.
“I enjoy the colors and the juxtaposition between the prints, the cutouts (and) the stamps,” Coffee said. “It’s just fun to look at.”
Also present at the exhibit was Thayer's wife Ilene Curts-Thayer, a fellow artist. Unlike other gallery goers, Curts-Thayer insisted there isn’t an intended message for attendees to take away.
“(The works) are a group of expressions about a number of different experiences,” Curts-Thayer said. “It’s like a living theater.”
Thayer’s exhibit is housed in the Main Art Gallery until Nov. 8. Gallery times run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.