"The Painter and the Printmaker" -- Curts and Thayer in LookOut! Art Gallery

Story by RCAH student Christina Igl.

On November 1st, 2016, RCAH welcomed visual artists Ilene Curts and Bruce Thayer, with a reception for their two person show: “The Painter and the Printmaker” currently exhibited in the LookOut! Gallery. Curts and Thayer work out of their studio space on Curts’ old family farm near Mason, Michigan, Curts being “The Painter” and Thayer “The Printmaker.”

Curts, an experienced still life painter, has been interested in art since her childhood and majored in art at Ball State University in 1966. Curts has since shown work in over 60 shows and has won numerous awards, including the 1990 Michigan Council for the Arts Award. Her pieces focus on recognizing art in the objects around her, arranging them in unique configurations, and then painting them. Part of Curts’ process involves the search for interesting objects to paint. “I enjoy the fundamental beauty of the world and enjoy showing it through my artwork,” Curts explained. 

Thayer is both a sculptor and printmaker using an Intaglio press and the processes of collograph, intaglio, and relief. He also works in watercolor in addition to acrylic paint, sometimes adding collage elements. Thayer uses many other techniques in his work as well. Since graduating with his MFA in Painting at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1980, Thayer has shared his art in both solo and group shows, nationally and internationally. He has won many awards for his work, most recently the Delta College Artist Award in 2016. Thayer’s work focuses on day-to-day life, engaging in social issues and figurative abstraction via satire and wordplay.

The two artists met while showing work at the University of Michigan when they were in their 30s. “We are two artists that happen to be married,” Thayer said. “We really support each other,” Curts added.  While they say they are on the same “wavelength” when it comes to art, they work independently. Both Curts and Thayer also think about the process of creating in a similar way, Thayer stating, “You can’t preconceive an idea,” and Curts adding “leave room for creativity to step in.

Their show “The Painter and the Printmaker” will be exhibited in the LookOut! Gallery through Monday, November 21, 2016.