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Danny Guire: Inside the Artist’s Studio

Physical Graffiti

By Derrick White

I enjoy the physical look of graffiti art and the buildup of composite layers. From abandoned buildings to railroad cars, the graffiti style is visually interesting and captivating in its energy, boldness, and complexity. Keep in mind graffiti style artwork is different than plain and criminal vandalism. Graffiti suggests a powerful artistic style and a statement, often from those in our society who are disenfranchised and marginalized. It is layered and multifaceted street art expressing powerful messages to the general public, and it is different from scrawling a crude genital drawing or an offensive word in the destruction of someone else’s property.

It is more artistic than what you find in a bathroom stall. Wikipedia describes graffiti as art “containing writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or painted (sometimes illicitly) on walls or other surfaces, often within public view. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and they have existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient EgyptGreece, and Rome.

Now, paint, particularly spray paint, and marker pens are the most commonly used materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner’s permission is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.

Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages, and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. Controversies surrounding graffiti continue to create disagreements among city officials, law enforcement, and artists (or taggers/writers) wishing to display and seek appreciation for their work in public locations.

There are many different types and styles of graffiti. It is a rapidly developing art form in which the value is highly contested and reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction. Good graffiti can become a cultural landmark of a city.

Anonymous graffiti artist Banksy has attained worldwide notoriety with his provoking images painted or stenciled around the streets of London. Banksy has also recently taken on the political tensions of the Palestinian territories, where he has created images on Israel’s highly contentious West Bank wall. 

“A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to” Banksy said. 

Danny Guire is an East Texas artist from Longview working as a painter, sculptor, and muralist. Danny’s style is graffiti-esque in its spontaneity, flowing organic forms, and intrepid, vivid, colorful palettes.

“I have been drawing since I was little,” Danny said. “I would go to church, and the sermon was in Spanish, so to keep me occupied I was given pencil and paper. I would doodle and draw robots.”

Danny is from Arizona, and he and his family lived in Florida before settling in Longview in 1994. He recalls the colors and culture of Florida as being alive and vibrant and unlike anything he had seen before. While there, he kept to himself and looked for ways to stay busy. He would draw constantly and he also started drawing and copying Disney cartoon characters.

Danny recollects, “When I first moved to Longview at the age of 12, I was the new guy once again. I started drawing graffiti imagery and break dancing. I was active in visual art through middle school and junior high. My father was a commercial painter, and I would help him paint apartments and houses solid colors. I got accustomed to painting on walls, and it has helped me with the confidence to tackle larger canvases.”

“My cousin was a big inspiration,” Danny adds. “He made drawings while he was in the penitentiary. Some of his art made it into Lowrider Arte magazine. He would draw comic book characters as well as realistic portraits of celebrities. I love the creative mind. My grandfather could play many musical instruments, my uncles were teaching me things from the break dancing era of the 1980s, and I was learning to play the guitar with my family. I grew up with a lot of flavor and creativity surrounding me.”

After graduating high school in 2000 Danny served in the U.S. Navy. He has explored the rave music scene (a large dance party featuring performances by DJs, selecting and mixing a seamless flow of loud electronic dance music).

“My artistic expression has taken many forms from drawing to dancing to playing music to painting,” states the artist. Danny enjoys painting with acrylics and was recently reintroduced to oil painting. He is excited about exploring this medium with the pleasure and satisfaction he derives out of the process.

Danny finds inspiration in many sources from Disney and other cartoons, like Voltron and ThunderCats (American animated television series) as well as Akira (a Japanese, science fiction, anime film), and a slew of other Anime. He is also inspired by music, breakdancing, and talented family members. “It has taught me patience and helped me to calm my mind and in a sense, meditate as I work. Stress is the enemy,” says Danny.

Regarding artistic challenges Danny mentions, “Selling art is difficult. The internet has helped, but it’s still the most difficult thing to deal with currently.”

Longview arts advocate and art gallery owner Paula Davis has recently reopened P’s Gallery in Longview after a brief hiatus in 2012. Her gallery represents East Texas contemporary artists working in a variety of different media and styles, including the work of Danny Guire, whose work is on view through June.

She asked Danny to join her stable of artists back in 2011. She states, “I first met Danny when professor John Hillier of Kilgore College, brought his art appreciation class on a field trip to P’s Gallery. I knew then Danny had a lot of promise with his artwork, his appreciation, and his dedication to continue to grow in his diversity. I am proud to be showing his work again.” P’s Gallery is located at 5576 Judson Rd., Longview.

For more info follow artist Danny Guire and P’s Gallery on Facebook.

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Gallery Main Street hosts First Digital Exhibit

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Gallery Main Street will host their first digital exhibit from May 1 to July 7. While facilities continue to be closed or with limited hours due to COVID-19, pictures and virtual tours of this exhibit will be available at www.DowntownTyler.org. Art will also be available for purchase online.

The spring exhibit is an open theme to allow local artists an opportunity to spotlight their different mediums, methods, visions and experiences.

“Art never stops,” said Main Street Director Amber Varona. “Now more than ever it is important to create innovative opportunities for artists to display and sell their art.”

This will be the first juried exhibit in the new gallery space inside the Plaza Tower. The space provides the artwork to be visible beyond the hours of the Main Street office and by patrons visiting the new first floor retail bays. The gallery serves as a valued centerpiece to the beautifully furnished atrium that serves as an inviting gathering spot.

For more information, visit www.DowntownTylerArts.com or call (903) 593-6905.

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Online UT Tyler MFA and BFA Art Exhibits Now Available

The University of Texas at Tyler has announced online art exhibitions featuring the work of students who graduated this spring with Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees.

Traditionally held on campus, the exhibitions were modified for online viewing as a safeguard in response to the coronavirus. The work of four MFA and eight BFA graduates can be viewed at uttyler.edu/meadowsgallery/events.

“While we are heavy-hearted about the inability to celebrate our student achievements face to face, we recognize the importance of taking precautionary measures during this time,’’ said Merry Wright, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History. “We are pleased to announce our online exhibitions, and we are incredibly proud of the students featured. They have remained steadfast in their commitment to creating and have approached the unfolding events with the highest caliber of professionalism.’’

MFA Exhibitions

Artists featured in the MFA exhibitions include:

Jessica Sanders of Tyler makes delicate-looking ceramic sculpture. Her exhibition is titled “Attach | Manipulate | Respond.” “This body of work deals with form, space, and visual accessibility,’’ Sanders said. “The pieces are made up of small, individual ceramic pieces that are attached together with wire, making flexible ceramic sheets.”

John Miranda’s exhibition, “Pan Dulce in the Sauce,“ features sculpture and paintings inspired by his hometown of Del Rio. “My work is a visceral response to a lived reality, an abstraction of space and memory,’’ he said.” Inanimate entities become communities within space as I try to find a balance between cultural history and personal experiences.”

Laminda Miller of Gladewater makes animal sculptures of epoxy clay and mixed media. Her exhibition, “Intentions,’’ features deceptively whimsical works that are allegorical representations of the social, psychological and literal constructs of identity.

Nora Schreiber of Tyler explores a curiosity of the world around her in her exhibition titled “ALL IT CAN BE IS WHAT IT WAS NAMED.” She asks her audience to step into a visual exploration of the mundane in their daily lives, with a theatrical twist.

BFA Exhibition

Artists highlighted in the BFA exhibition, titled “Nascent,’’ include

Lidia Alvidrez of Dallas – Avridrez’s work as a ceramic artist is influenced by her life experiences and dealing with a mental disorder.

Katherine Emmel of Overton – Emmel’s work is focused primarily in painting and reflects

 

several dystopian and emotional narratives found within everyday society.

Willow Lanchester of Tyler – Lanchester works primarily in clay and metal sculpture. Her art pieces are focused permutations of form that explore themes of concealed information.

Maggie Pierce of Tyler – Pierce uses photo-based printmaking techniques to create highly altered versions of desert landscape. Her work examines the landscape and our relationship to it as something that is mediated by various technologies.

Payton Poole of Tyler – Poole works with multimedia, three-dimensional sculptures, both interactive and wearable, that open conversations about mental illness and the stigma against it.

Grace Richardson of Troup – Richardson uses screen-printing methods to create non- objective forms that render familiarity through their interactions and emphasis on color. A vocabulary of shape and color is established through these arrangements, creating a relationship and language between form and viewer.

Justin Witherspoon of Kilgore – Witherspoon is a printmaker who works in both relief and mono-type. His current body of work is focused on contrasting hard lines and stark objects with nebulous color, inviting exploration.

Teresa Young of Marshall – Young is a sculptor whose works incorporate disposed items such as shipping material and objects from nature. The items signify abandonment and reincarnation.

For more information about the exhibitions, contact Michelle Taff, UT Tyler gallery and media coordinator, at 903-566-7237 or mtaff@uttyler.edu.

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Historic Tyler Celebrates with 26th Annual Photo Contest

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May is a time when thousands of individuals around the country join in a nationwide celebration of National Preservation Month, sponsored annually by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This May, Preservation Month is going virtual.  Even though many historical places are physically closed right now, we hope to excite current preservation supporters and introduce new audiences to the preservation work that makes our community special by opening a window to a world of adventure online.

The National Trust created Preservation Week in 1973 to spotlight grassroots preservation efforts in America.  Since then, it has grown into an annual celebration observed by small towns and big cities across the United States. Due to its popularity, the National Trust extended the event to the entire month of May, which was then declared Preservation Month to provide more opportunities to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country’s cities and states. The hope is to introduce more Americans to the growing preservation movement.

Here at Historic Tyler, we will celebrate Preservation Month by virtually highlighting preservation efforts made here in our own beautiful Rose City, and by hosting our annual Photo Contest.  Historic Tyler’s Photo Contest has been a Preservation Month staple for over twenty-five years, and this year’s theme is Beyond Your Basic Brick. We have picked historic properties throughout the Azalea and Charnwood historic districts that feature interesting bricks, brick patterns or brick details.

To enter the photo contest, identify each photograph by its address or name and submit answers to Historic Tyler, Inc., P.O. Box 6774, Tyler, TX, 75711, send an email to historic@suddenlinkmail.com or private message us on social media.  Entries must be submitted no later than end-of-day, Monday, June 21, 2020.  The entry with the highest number of correct answers will be awarded a family membership in Historic Tyler, Inc. and $50 cash.  In the event of ties, a drawing will be held to determine the winner.

To enter the photo contest, identify each photograph by its current name or address and submit answers to: Historic Tyler, Inc., P.O. Box 6774, Tyler, TX, 75711, Send an email to historic@suddenlinkmail.com, or Private message us on social media.

Entries must be submitted no later than end of day, Monday, June 21, 2020. The entry with the highest number of  correct answers will be awarded a family membership in Historic Tyler, Inc. and $50 cash. In the event of ties, a drawing will be held to determine the winner.

Historic Tyler, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, was founded in 1977 with a mission “to promote the preservation and protection of historic structures and sites through advocacy, education, involvement, and private and public investment.”  It is a membership-based organization with many preservation accomplishments to its credit.  Executive Director Mrs. Washmon invites you to visit their website:  www.historictyler.org for more information on the organization, which is located in the Charnwood District at 110 E. Charnwood Street.

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