Lawrence Baker: Drawings
Drawings by Kent State alumnus Lawrence Baker will be on view at the KSU Downtown Gallery from Oct. 16 through Nov. 20, 2019. Baker earned his BFA, MA and MFA from Kent State's School of Art in painting and drawing. He currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio and is a retired visual arts instructor for the Cleveland Municipal School District. An opening reception will take place on Friday, Oct. 18 from 5-7 p.m. Both the reception and the exhibition are free and open to the public.
Nature is my subject matter. Nature drawing, today, is seen as imitating nature. It is not real, but rather a facsimile captured on hard surfaces and capable of conveying feelings and thoughts to others more subtle and unobtrusive, unlike modern media.
When drawing, no matter how skillful, graceful, decorated or unadorned, it is called art. My art is based on nature not as seen but mostly as I remembered it as a child and some that which is currently in my environment, although I live in a densely populated colorful and noisy urban area of the city. My art is manipulated to fit my ultimate purpose.
When standing before a canvas and before drawing marks on a canvass, my world is reduced to simple black and white, as if the world has no color, or that I might be color-blind. This is important to me in the context of a country transfixed by color for racial reasons and satiated with a Disney palette. Black and white drawings and the many grays in between is where I find tones that quiet my universe. My mind, like a placid lake, is untroubled by social conditions and violence. It is a form of peace that I wish my drawings to convey to viewers, especially younger people. I want them to see calm as opposed to strife and stress, necessary condition for enhancing abilities to learn and self-educate. Children have the innate ability to draw when not encumbered by complications.
For the past ten years, I have found my subjects and seen images in simple things on the ground where things fall, stay, decay, and regenerate. In these abstractions on the ground, are anthropomorphic forms and unexplained mysteries, which I find endlessly fascinating. Although I start, childlike, with basic charcoal marks on white paper, in no particular order, my themes are life and decay, death and regenerations, and ultimately nature’s beauty.
Lawrence Baker M.F.A.