WILLIAMSBURG—The Whitley County Cooperative Extension Community Art Center will celebrate the work of local artist Michael Hall this weekend with an artist reception after his art has been on display at the center for the past month .
Hall is a self-taught artist who was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky, moved to Corbin in the early 1990s and graduated from Corbin Redhound. After high school, Hall joined the Army where he spent four years in Texas, stationed at Ft. Hood before returning to Corbin.
Today the 42-year-old lives in Corbin with his wife, daughter, son-in-law, two dogs and two cats, and works for the Department of Labor, while making art in his time. free.
Hall said some of his earliest memories were of him drawing, he said as early as kindergarten.
“As a kid, I mostly drew the stuff that I liked,” he said. “I drew a lot of He-Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stuff. I always liked wrestling too, so I drew Hulk Hogan a lot. I remember making my own cardboard NWA title belt out of the my dad’s help. Hulk was easier to draw because he had this unique look, but Ric Flair was always my favorite. I guess I’ve always done art. When I was a teenager, I wanted to draw comics, but I ended up getting by when I stopped collecting them.
While in the military, Hall began drawing corporate logos and t-shirt designs after his first sergeant discovered that Hall could draw.
“I painted all the company signs when we were stationed in Bosnia,” he said. “I also designed a challenge piece. He had me draw cartoons for the company newsletter, poking fun at some of the goofy things we experienced in Bosnia.
After his career in the military, Hall said he didn’t do much art, as he was more focused on settling in and finding a job, but once he got back to art, he didn’t want to stop.
“Once I started making art again it slowly went from realism to what it is now which is more abstract cubism with a little bit of street art I guess you would say “Hall said.
“To quote a line from one of my favorite movies, my art is, ‘like Sputnik; spherical, but quite sharp in places,” he added, saying his art today is made up of many “strange faces and shapes.” “It happens without too much brainstorming. I tend to work quickly because I can’t stay focused for too long and I get bored pretty quickly. I can usually tell within the first few minutes if the piece I’m starting to work on is destined for the trash or if it’s going to be something I can do something with. Sometimes I get pretty excited about something and work on it for several days, but that’s very rare. I prefer to do it and move on.
Hall has exhibited her art in galleries and bars in San Diego, CA and Las Vegas, Nevada alongside artists from around the world.
“I never got to attend the shows in person, but I was able to put my work in front of eyes that probably wouldn’t have seen it otherwise, and earn some money in the process,” Hall said, adding that he was also a part of an 80s-themed show in Lexington a few years ago where he did a piece inspired by “Blade Runner”. He said he’d like a local business owner to drop him on a wall somewhere to “make some weird art.”
Hall said he contacted the extension office about possibly exhibiting his work in the art center.
“Shoot your shot, right?” he said.
Hall’s art show was originally scheduled to take place in April last year but had to be canceled and rescheduled to this month, where Hall said he had a varied selection of pieces on display at the art center.
“You’ll see a mix of works that cover my artistic journey over the past few years,” he said. “I exhibited some of my old ink and watercolor drawings. I have a few paintings in the exhibition. I much prefer to work on paper than on canvas, but it’s good to mix things up. You’ll also see some of the newer things I’ve worked on, like the greatest works on paper. It was fun to do. Bigger is where I think my current style really works best.
Hall’s Artist Reception will be held Saturday at the Whitley County Cooperative Extension Community Art Center located at 428 Main Street in downtown Williamsburg from 6-8 p.m. The community is invited to attend the free event to view Hall’s work, as well as enjoy live music, refreshments and a “live art” demonstration starting at 7 p.m. Hall’s art will also be available for purchase.
For more information, call 606-549-7373 or visit the Whitley County Cooperative Extension – Fine Arts Facebook page.