CHEYENNE, Wyoming – The visual layers of urban environments will be explored in “Urban Jungle,” the first exhibition of 2023 at Laramie County Community College in the Esther and John Clay Fine Art Gallery.
Colorado-based artist Michael Gadlin is bringing his bicultural, emotional and honest perspective in abstract expressionist styles, creating “large, funky, colorful” paintings as part of “Urban Jungle.” The paintings in the gallery, Gadlin said, can evoke thoughts and feelings people have in urban environments when considering the primal human urge to make a mark on the landscape, whether that’s in the form of graffiti, signage, murals or whatever the expression.
“Not just in the United States, but you can see when you travel the world, people draw on signage, or draw on walls or draw on someone else’s art,” he said. “And it’s continued. It’s never scrapped or you never start from scratch. You have this layering that really marks the urban landscape.”
The philosophy behind Gadlin’s art, he writes in his artist statement, is “to be as sentient with visual interpretations as possible and make work that will challenge my own assumptions of what art can be.”
Gadlin’s education includes the Pratt Institute of Art & Design in Brooklyn, New York, Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado, and Art Students League of Denver. He’s had dozens of exhibitions through three decades, collections across the world and has been a part of educational opportunities largely in the Colorado Front Range. Gadlin serves on the board of trustees at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver and is the executive director for Platte Forum, a nonprofit youth program and artist residency. In addition to his visual art, Gadlin has established a career in television as host of Rocky Mountain PBS’ “Art District,” an Emmy Award-winning cultural series.
“Urban Jungle” will be on display from Jan. 23-Mar. 1 in the Esther and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery at LCCC in Cheyenne. An opening reception is scheduled from noon-1:30 p.m. on Feb. 8, with an artist talk to follow at 2 p.m. in the Surbrugg/Prentice Auditorium.