Art professor Bill Andrus’ work exhibited in “Warm and Cool”
Each year, to coincide with Family Weekend and Homecoming events, Centre’s art program hosts an exhibit featuring work by an alumnus. This year’s artist — Bill Andrus ’91 — also happens to work at Centre as a visiting assistant professor of art.
Andrus’ exhibit, “Warm and Cool,” which opens Sept. 24 in the AEGON Gallery, will run through Homecoming on Oct. 22. The Alumni House will host a public reception for Andrus on Friday, Oct. 21 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
“The art program is excited to host an exhibit of Bill’s recent work — he’s a talented abstractionist,” says Judith Jia, associate professor and chair of the art program. “Bill can make a seemingly dull gray line visually pop off the canvas. His paintings are a visual treat for whoever sees them.”
As the exhibit’s title hints, the paintings in “Warm and Cool” show an amalgam of contrasting colors. The medium of oil on canvas allows those colors to pop, Andrus says.
“I’ve always been fascinated by color and the medium of oil painting. Oils have unmatched qualities of portraying rich color and light,” he explains. “Their combined visual effects are easily analogous to degrees of temperature. I find this analogy helpful in the classroom when I explain to students the technical and temporal attributes of color.”
Andrus has invested quite a bit of time in the paintings he exhibits in “Warm and Cool” — and he plans to continue adding to the collection.
“All of the paintings being exhibited are part of a series that I have been working on for four years. The motif is very repetitive. But the aspect that I find fascinating about this repetitiveness is that it conversely provides me with templates for unlimited palettes of color,” he says. “I see my current series as unending.”
Andrus’ paintings allow each person who views them to see something unique.
“Each painting is a study in color harmony and the visual vibrations that happen when placed next to each other,” Jia says. “Seen as a group, the paintings are very soothing, but upon closer inspection of each, the viewer is led into a vibrating field of color.”
No stranger to having his work on display at Centre, “Exorcising Melville,” a painting Andrus created as a student, hangs on the second floor of Grace Doherty Library in Crounse Hall. His work, however, has notably transformed since his undergraduate days.
“His new paintings show a turn from his older abstractions, which were very painterly with evidence of vigorous brush strokes captured in thick swaths of paint,” says Jia. “The works comprising ‘Warm and Cool’ are quite restrained in comparison. The paint surface is smooth and the shaped lines are highly controlled.”
The chance to exhibit at his alma mater is meaningful to Andrus.
“Having the opportunity to exhibit at Centre is very dear to my heart. Centre’s art department is a unique and wonderful place. The emphasis on technical skill and artistic direction is unsurpassed for a small liberal arts college,” he says. “I’m proud to be part of this tradition both as a student and professor.”
“Warm and Cool” will be open to the public in the AEGON Gallery from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during Family Weekend, Sept. 23-24.