The Keefe House Gallery at the Woodman Presents: Bill Oakes: The Art of Creativity

The Keefe House Gallery at the Woodman Presents: Bill Oakes: The Art of Creativity

(Dover, NH) – The work of the late, innovative New Hampshire artist, illustrator, educator, and author, Bill Oakes (1944-2005) will be presented in a new exhibition at the Keefe House Gallery at the Woodman.  Bill Oakes: The Art of Creativity opens on Saturday, August 20, with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. open to the public.  The exhibition features works that illustrate the extraordinary diversity of Oakes’ art and creative ideas that span his extensive career, including drawings, paintings, published illustrations, prints, and photographs.  The exhibition will run through September 22, and is open free of charge on Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.Bill Oakes spent his formative years in Brunswick, Maine.  After college, he joined the US Navy and was assigned to the Navy Combat Art Gallery in Washington, DC, during which time he completed over 180 paintings and drawings, now in the US Navy Fine Arts Collection.  As an educator, he taught at the New England School of Art and Design, as well as the Art Institute of Boston.  Bill earned his Master of Arts degree in 1988 in “Critical and Creative Thinking” at UMass, Boston, where he taught several courses focusing on Creativity.
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An accomplished realist painter, Bill’s ability to capture the essence of his sitter’s character with minimal strokes led to his job as courtroom artist for the Watergate hearings, the major political scandal of the early 1970s.  His mesmerizing characterizations of President Richard Nixon, Howard Baker, John Dean, John Ehrlichman and others not only captured the energy of the proceedings, they brought the drama to life for the general public. These illustrations were reproduced in The Washington Post and on ABC News.

A versatile artist, Bill completed numerous illustrations for The Franklin Library, as well as several magazines and newspapers, including Look, National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Time and Yankee magazines, and The Boston Globe and The Christian Science Monitor.  He co-authored several children’s books as well.

Travels abroad and a continued interest in imagination and discovery led to more multi-dimensional works of art and experimentation.  His realism evolved to an abstraction born of interest in unusual materials and non-customary methods of application: trowels over brushes, for instance; mark-making with color and texture, more than subject.  In short, Creativity over representation.  A truly thoughtful artist who believed that art was a vital form of communication, Bill sought to inspire creative thought and discovery in all his students and viewers. Come see the works of this communicative believer in the power of art to inspire learners of all ages.

Bill Oakes: The Art of Creativity is sponsored by Federal Savings Bank.

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