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If you go
What: “Fred Doloresco: Recent Works”
When: Opens with reception at 5 to 9 p.m. today; exhibit will be available during regular gallery hours through Oct. 26
Where: Castle Gallery, 1202 W. Wayne St.
Admission: Free; go to www.castlegallery.com or call 426-6568
Courtesy
Fred Doloresco’s exhibit of “en plein,” or outside, paintings opens with a reception at 5 p.m. today at Castle Gallery.

Solo show features outdoors-inspired artist

Midwest impressionist Fred Doloresco is probably one of the few cardiologists who go to work to relax from painting.

However, when your artwork is featured in the collections of a famous professional golfer and one of the nation’s top luxury resorts – it can be a tough day in the office.

“I’m sort of an obsessive individual. I want to paint a painting that is always good. If they’re not good, I struggle with it,” he says. “It’s like running a half marathon – I wouldn’t say that’s something people would say is relaxing, but they enjoy the particular feeling of doing it.”

The Castle Gallery will display Doloresco’s recent works in a solo exhibition, which opens today. Doloresco, who has mainly sold his artwork at Castle Gallery for nearly 15 years, will have the rare opportunity to have an exhibit show entirely dedicated to his paintings. He says that his friendship with Castle Gallery co-owner Jody Hemphill Smith is based on a sense of loyalty.

“I believe when you find a gallery owner who spends a lot of time developing clients and putting on shows, it’s important to reward them with exclusivity,” he says. “I think it’s the best exhibit space for a private commercial gallery. I respect her (Hemphill Smith) judgment and eye in regard to works. Your work always looks better when it’s hanging with better artists.”

Hemphill Smith says that it was simply high time for Doloresco to have his own exhibition, complete with an opening reception.

“Since we’re in a historic district, we can’t have as many parties, so we keep it to six a year. If we’re going to do something like this, it has to be a special event and this is one of them,” she says. “He will be the first of many to follow, but it was time for him to have a major show. He’s a good friend and a very accomplished painter.”

Doloresco says that he approaches painting and his cardiology work for Parkview Health Network with both cerebral and intuitive qualities.

“Once you make a mark on the canvas, you have created a problem that you need to solve, and then the second mark creates another problem, and so on,” he says.

Painting for nearly 25 years, he has traveled to paint historic areas in Europe and the Caribbean. Stateside, he says he likes to travel east to Maine and Massachusetts because of their scenic harbors. A former Fort Wayne resident, Doloresco has moved about an hour away to Lake James, where he has been inspired by the town’s older buildings and lakeside landscapes.

“The place I live now is more peaceful. I’ve painted more pastoral and historic scenes,” he says. “There’s a number I have painted because I knew they’re going to disappear; I like the old bait shop rather than the new slick building that’s going there.”

He says that the new exhibit will consist of work he created on his most recent travels to Venice and Portugal; it also includes more local subject matters such as the Johnny Appleseed Festival and Lake James. He says out of the nearly 50 paintings he plans to display, a majority have been created within the past six months.

“I love beauty. We look at things with a set of eyes that we pass by or try to dodge. We frequently miss things of beauty,” he says. “There’s a beauty in things that have age and character to them.”

A graduate of Saint Louis University and University of Missouri’s School of Medicine, Doloresco says he was an art enthusiast, but he figured he couldn’t buy an original painting every week. So he began to make his own.

“I painted one painting every two years, and it would be so bad that I would give it up for two years. I did that for about 10 years. Then I did a painting that wasn’t very good, but was not too bad, so I took it more seriously for six months by copying photos out of magazines.”

Taking classes for 10 more years, Doloresco graduated from the National Academy of Design in New York. He is known for his oil painting depictions of landscapes, urban scenes and figurative works. He paints “plein air,” which means that he paints outdoors. He says that nature has been a great teacher.

“I don’t think you can understand color well unless you can see the color of nature. I think you learn more by painting outdoors,” he says. “It’s difficult because the light is constantly changing, but it helps you develop more skills.”

He has been featured in the 2008 Oil Painters of America National Exhibition, and was a part of PaintAmerica’s Top 100 show. Doloresco’s work has been included in many corporate and private collections, including golfer Tiger Woods and the Sanctuary Hotel, a top golf resort near Charleston, S.C. His portfolio includes a long list of best of show awards across the nation with museum showings in multiple cities, including Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s “En Plein Air” exhibit.

A tough critic of his own work, he says that he finds satisfaction in knowing that his work is appreciated by his peers, whether it comes with a blue ribbon or not.

“I realize that I’ve done some good paintings, and I’m satisfied. But I don’t really have to win an award to feel that. I study and collect paintings; I know what’s good and what’s less than good,” he says.

“The most important award I won last year was the Artists’ Choice Award at Indiana Heritage Arts (exhibition) – all of the artists thought that it was best painting in the show. To me, it was like winning an Oscar from the Academy. Now that’s a great feeling.”

kcarr@jg.net

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