While the Montgomery Museum will be closed at least through the remainder of March, we felt it was important to make the interesting work currently on exhibit in the Blacksburg High School Art Show available. These images are to be enjoyed online – use of them without express permission from the artists is prohibited.
Alex Crookshanks is the featured artist in the newest exhibit at the Montgomery Museum and Lewis Miller Art Center. His work incorporates both digital and traditional media by layering images, emotions, text and reflections that both appeal and challenge viewers to look deeper, through the surface.
When someone views a piece of artwork, they tell their own stories based on their personal experiences and perception. Alex’s work uses that moment of interpretation to insert the viewer into his pieces through reflection, so their own personal interpretive stories literally include themselves as a subject.
Once a piece of artwork has begun its creation journey, either digitally or traditionally, Alex then layers on translucent elements, text and other up-cycled items to provide the viewer with images covering all aspects of beauty, love and acceptance. By using reflective and translucent layers, he invites the viewer to become a part of the piece as their image is reflected into the work.
The exhibit at the Montgomery Museum is titled “Rainbows in Cages.” Alex says that it speaks to our “need to contain that which is beautiful. We’ve done this with animals and women and any other being or thing we don’t understand, but feel we must control. Sometimes we do this to ourselves. We bottle up the weird and wonderful that is who we are for fear we won’t be accepted by those around us. We cage the rainbow inside hiding our feelings and hiding our hearts.” He wants to let the love we have shine through all that we do and to find beauty in being content with life and love without comparing ourselves with others.
This exhibit uses several techniques: screen-printing, monoprint, stencil, and stamping. The traditional techniques have been “smashed up” with his brand of pop-art-mixed-media-layering. The square format was chosen as a way to play on social media formatting and online interaction, or lack thereof.
A reception for this exciting exhibit will be held at the Montgomery Museum on Thursday, May 3 from 5:00-7:00. Come join us to be part of this unique experience and have a chance to meet and talk with Alex Crookshanks.