Todd Stokes RCAA’s September Artist of the Month at Vigo County Public Library

Sycamore Rising

Glass etchings by Todd Stokes are featured throughout September in River City Art Association’s Artist of the Month gallery space in the Vigo County Public Library at Terre Haute.

The Terre Haute artist’s display is a sampling of his award-winning artwork inspired by trees, the Wabash River, and how the passage of time affects the natural world around him.

“Artists see the world differently. We are all looking at the same world but each one of us has a different filter so our brains register only what our filters allow,” said Stokes, who also works out of his studio in Dennison, Illinois.

“We all might be looking at the same tree and say … it’s a tree. An artist’s eye looks at it and sees the texture of the bark, the proportions of the limbs, the spread of the canopy, the detail of the leaves, the beautiful greens as they change from full on sun to the brilliance of back lit translucence, and the tree’s relationship to other features in the landscape … not just a tree.

“Using these elements — texture, shape, mass, proportion and color — the artist boldly approaches abstraction. He manipulates these elements in certain combinations to create interesting, evocative and visually striking pieces.”

Stokes likes to construct pieces that capture the essence of what happens due to time’s passing: “the erosion of a river’s bank, the budding of  new growth made possible by the decay of the fallen leaves of autumn, and the fading of memories as we travel along the timeline of what we call life.”

Flicker by Todd Stokes in the “Red” show at Arts Illiana Gallery

The “constructive” aspect of  making art, sometimes giving himself technically difficult problems to overcome, are challenges Stokes loves to conquer.

“Some of the most difficult challenges have led me to create the most  fulfilling pieces.”

Also this month, Stokes has glass etchings in the “Red” exhibition  at Arts Illiana Gallery  in Terre Haute; RCAA’s “Art Currents” membership show in the Link Art Gallery in Paris, Illinois; and a show in First Financial Bank’s Springhill Banking Center featuring award-winning artwork from RCAA’s 11th Annual Juried Exhibition in August.

RCAA meets at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the library at Seventh and Poplar streets. For more details, call Stokes at 812-232-0048.

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