The Art of Tom Chesar and Clifford Ward
January 8, 2011 – February 27, 2011
Opening Reception January 15 ~ 7-9 pm
Members and Artists only ~ 6-7 pm
Clifford Ward received his formal training as a sculptor at the Fleisher Institute in Philadelphia and through an apprenticeship at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture in Hamilton. Since then he has continued at the Atelier as an instructor in metal sculpting and has led a number of workshops. His works have been shown at numerous solo and group exhibitions in Philadelphia and across New Jersey, New York and North Carolina. In February 2006, Ward’s piece “Grace of Judith” was chosen as a gift for Maya Angelou at the National Constitution Center. Ward was also part of a team that helped assemble and mount the largest specimen of a tyrannosaurus rex ever found, which was installed at the Chicago field museum in the spring of 2000.
Embracing the mythologies, cultures and ethos of the African Diaspora, Australian Aborigines, Native Americans and Maori People of New Zealand through dance, religion and spirituality, Ward’s work has evolved into a “potpourri” of many of these indigenous peoples’ culture: “It is truly from my soul and I feel more and more like a conduit for my ancestors’ messages which hopefully will continue to nourish the honesty and integrity of my work and will also help me to better understand my African roots,” Ward explains.
Following his education at the Fleisher Art Institute in Philadelphia, Tom Chesar studied under various prominent artists, including Leo Russell and Gary Akers. He has been featured in numerous solo and group shows across the region and has received several awards of distinction from the Lambertville Historical Society, Hunterdon Museum of Art, the Trenton City Museum and the Garden State Watercolor Society.
Scenes and activities found in the Delaware Valley and Maine Coast are the basis for much of his art, but internal imaging and interpretation are the critical means to achieve a uniquely personal meaning to my painting. In some cases only internal imaging is the source of his paintings.”Most importantly,” Chesar says, “I follow the painting wherever it takes me, rather than to force a preconceived idea. During and after that journey, I make adjustments to maintain the integrity of the painting’s colors, balance, composition and mood.”