The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, September 06, 2016 10:12 pm

Spotlight: Artist Gregg Coffey

Keiara Carr | The Journal Gazette

Artists Gregg Coffey and Joel Fremion, two artists of different techniques, will open a joint exhibition Tuesday at the Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery at the Allen County Public Library downtown. 

Both artists create for the mind as well as the eye. Coffey's art work, based on his studies of Chinese painting, is considered visual poetry, while Joel Fremion crafts fabric collages using a blend of fabrics and leather. Fremion's most recent series features portraits of local artists using the fabric technique.

The library will host an opening reception 6 p.m. Thursday. 

Before the exhibit opened, we asked Coffey a series of questions by email on what has influenced his direction as an artist. 

Both of you use very interesting techniques in your artwork. Can you explain how your background influenced your current styles?

Coffey: My undergrad degree is a BFA in painting from (Indiana University), and a graduate degree in printmaking from San Francisco State University, but I also studied Chinese painting from five different masters. My current work is mixed media on paper, and it combines my interest in Asian art, world mythology, quantum physics, and often my Celtic heritage.

Was it your idea to showcase your work together? What do you two think your artworks share in common?

Coffey: I will be showing works spread out over a 20 year period, with a few very large oil on canvas, some mixed media, and several archival giclee prints. I will include an example of Chinese painting that I painted while studying with Lui Sang Wong in San Francisco.

Name one aspect of the other artists' work that you would like to see in your own work or something that you just enjoy?

Coffey: I have very much respect for Joel's work, which is why I asked him to show with me. I appreciate his craftsmanship, as well as the overall feel of fabric collage, and love the fact that he has chosen to do portraits of local artists, including myself.

How does Fort Wayne influence your work?

Coffey: I can't really say that Fort Wayne inspires or informs my work, as I believe my work springs from the collective unconscious, world myths, my science readings, and a heavy dose of H.P. Lovecraft.

Since you will be exhibiting in the main Allen County Library, here's a book-related question: If you were commissioned to paint a scene from any book of your choice, what would it be and why?

Coffey: I would have to include two books, "The Elegant Universe" and the complete fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, the first for many of my quantum physics and wormhole themes, and the second for my portrayal of Cthulhu from the writings of Lovecraft.


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