Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Sero sed serio"

Frank Kerr

Watercolors & drawings

November 5 – December 3

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 5, 4-7 pm

Beaufort Art Center is proud to present the watercolors and drawings of artist and architect Frank Kerr, now in his tenth decade at 97 and living in Beaufort. The exhibited works span the early 1930s to the present. This is the artist’s first solo show.

Frank Kerr was born in Montreal in 1914. He spent his education years in Washington, DC, where in 1938 he earned degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts from George Washington University. His work years as an architect were in Minnesota.

He attended drawing classes on scholarship at the National School of Fine and Applied Arts in Washington, DC, while in high school. At the age of 18, Kerr created pen and ink cartoons of the history of baseball, which he researched at the Library of Congress. The drawings are on the level of portraiture. The Beaufort Art Center presents several of these cartoon strips.
A later drawing, “Early Christian Basilica” (Italy’s Orvieto cathedral) won First Prize and Second Medal in a contest for New York’s Beaux Arts Institute of Design for Archaeological Research in 1936-37. It is a work of art that conveys the soaring height and luminescence of this splendid cathedral.

Expressionistic impressionist Frank Kerr is also exhibiting over 50 plein-air and studio watercolors of natural and built landscapes of North America and Europe. Doing a watercolor requires the courage of certainty and simplification. A brushstroke is essentially a touch, a dance of paint. His mixing and application of paint ranges from the lightest possible wash to heavily pigmented darks. Each place he has visited over his long life has become a painting.

What is art? You have form, water, air, fire and all of that. Expressions of art are expressions of what those forms can do. But the basics of art came first. “ -- Frank Kerr, 2011

Frank and his wife Mary now live in Beaufort in a house surrounded by flowering foliage on the outside and walls of vibrant art on the inside. Their daughter and son-in-law Kathleen and Mark Schurdevin live with them.