Review: Tarleton features Isaac Powell

"Substitute Garden" by Isaac Powell

Christopher Rust/Staff Writer

The Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center is currently featuring an exhibit of works done by Eastern Kentucky University assistant art professor Isaac Powell. His paintings are extraordinary in their style and detail.

“I’ve loved to draw since I was a young child,” Powell said. “In high school I took a large interest in drafting and architectural drawing, but I [ended] up going to school to study forestry…However, it didn’t take me too long to realize that while I enjoyed studying nature and specifically trees, I wasn’t devoted to that career path. At that point I began pursuing a BFA in drawing. So, my work to this day retains elements of both my former interests.”

Powell also has another pastime when he’s not busy painting or teaching.

“I garden and tend to chickens,” Powell said. “Gardening is a type of art process for me as well… planning, working the soil…ending up with a product is really akin to my painting process. Some of the flower images that are in my exhibit at Tarleton were taken from my garden back home,” Powell said. “I also love to backpack… specifically in the Big Bend region of Texas. Just as with gardening the Big Bend topography influence[s] my work as you’ll see in the topographical representations in some of the works.”

Powell also offered advice to Tarleton State University students about their fields of study and passions.

“With any discipline… make sure you love what you are studying,” Powell said. “It will show in your product, whether it be a painting, or a psychological study, or an experiment in chemistry. Talent will only take you so far – you must also have passion.”

One of Powell’s artworks showcased in the gallery is “The Substitute Garden,” a great example of using references from nature and combining them with geometric and man-made patterns such as a table, along with the squares and right triangles in the painting.

Another showcased piece is “The Steepness of Slopes.” This is another breathtaking piece with amazing details of grassy slopes on the left and right side of the cubic canvas, but in the very center, only a silhouette to contrast the three-dimensional paintings on either side.

The exhibit will continue through spring break until March 17from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.