By Joan C. McKinney, director, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Artists Jesse Ray Sims and George Vitorovich will display paintings and prints, respectively, in the Pence-Chowning Art Gallery through Sept. 15.
The gallery is located at 205 University Drive, Campbellsville, Ky., and is open to the public free of charge.
A reception for the artists will be Wednesday, Sept. 6 from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. in the gallery; it is open to the public as well.
Sims, owner of Sims Studios and Art Shop in Horse Cave, Ky., said his current series of paintings are inﬂuenced by gothic architecture and the current landscape around him.
“My study of Gothic architecture and how the interiors of gothic cathedrals had columns that rose from ﬂoor to the ceiling, meeting the ribs of pointed arches, like tall trees spreading its branches, mimicked the natural cathedrals set by earlier congregations as they met in seclusion in the forests to evade persecution has always interested me, and gives me a ﬂoor plan of how some of the paintings are to be laid out,” Sims said.
He said the rural landscape around him in South Central Kentucky is also an inspiration for his work.
“As I drive around the 31W, 31E corridor,” he said, “I am constantly ﬁnding things that spark my interests either in wooded patches, ﬁelds and meadows or how the landscapes transition from towns to rural areas. In certain places the trees seem to hold the line, standing as sentinels protecting itself from further spread of development. It’s in these spaces that the landscape holds a certain mystical quality that parallels the sense of space found in gothic architecture.”
Sims studied fine art at Western Kentucky University with an emphasis in painting and sculpture.
He works from his studio and frame shop creating fine art, sculpture, design/illustrations, murals, classes and custom framing.
Three galleries represent his work, and he has artwork placed in over 100 private, corporate and public collections throughout the United States. He is a member of the Kentucky Arts Council Teaching Artist Roster and the Horse Cave Cultural District Board.
In 2016, Sims was responsible for the Scottsville Bicentennial Mural Project, had sculpture project at Munfordville Elementary School and hosted and curated the KYAEA “Caveland Regional” High School Juried Art Exhibit.
Sims’ work has been shown extensively, and he has won several awards.
Vitorovich, of Bowling Green, Ky., said he spent his early years in New York City where his family kept a strong connection to the Old Country. His father was a relatively new immigrant and relayed the folktales of an ancient landscape full of stories.
He was very young when he received an assortment of children’s books from family friends in Europe.
“It was the first time I had seen images that combined collage and drawing, and I was taken with how playful yet dark they could be,” he said. “They had a dreamlike authenticity that seemed to evoke memories both strange and familiar. It is this sense of half remembered story that I try to rediscover.”
Vitorovich said he has been looking for some narrative element to incorporate into a story fragment and has been taking reference photos since the early 1990s.
“I depict a landscape in transition, where the ebb and flow of decline and renewal create a theater of cycles,” he said. “As the remnants of one stage become the beginning of another, a timeless rhythm suggests an ancient procession.
“In the quiet along the edges of town, this dynamic plays itself out. Landmarks are lost in the undergrowth and transformed into fading monuments. Their transience underscores a sacred undercurrent that is less elusive in the surrounding stillness,” Vitorovich said.
Vitorovich received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting/printmaking from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.
He is represented by Art and Invention, Nashville, Tenn. Selected collections include Liquitex; Contemporary Art Museum of Chamalieres, Auvergne, France; Kettering Medical Center in Kettering, Ohio and Dr. Trutty-Coohill in Louisville.
He has had several exhibitions and won several awards.
For more information about the exhibit, contact Davie Reneau, associate professor of art, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (270) 789-5407.
Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 5,000 students offering over 80 programs of study including 19 master’s degrees, six postgraduate areas and seven pre-professional programs. The university has off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset and Hodgenville with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville and a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.