Last week, dozens of eager artists and patrons poured into the 2nd Floor Gallery at Grayson College to view the ever popular Black, White and Variants of Gray Show. The exhibit features sixty-eight achromatic works by thirty-three artists. Even if you missed the reception, you can still enjoy the show through December 6, 2019.


According to GC Art Chairwoman Kristin Vilbig Erickson, “It is always surprising how much variety can be achieved without color. Paintings, prints, photographs, ceramics and sculpture are all represented and united in this show through the lack of color.”


The Black, White and Variants of Gray exhibit, now in its nineteenth year, is always very popular with both our students and area artists.


“Generally we have more submissions for this show than for any other show,” Erickson said.


Karen Geswein, a photographer who recently moved here from Indiana.


“Black and White photographs are more timeless,” she said.


One of Geswein’s photographs “The Escape” demonstrates how she feels that geometric shapes and contrast add more drama which is accentuated with black and white.


Another artist who recently moved here from Austin and is entering this show for the first time is Sandra Deanda.


“The interesting challenge of making black and white art is that I must focus on the image as a whole,” she said. “I can’t rely on the safety net of a colorful palette, just basic art elements, such as form, texture, and value.”


Deanda also said that making black and white art is very enjoyable because of the dramatic feel that it has.


“My 3D artwork for the black and white show was an exploration in what it means to be feminine, tough, and vulnerable,” she said. “My 3D art pieces were made from found objects, plaster, and metal. The mixing together of the materials made for interesting textures and shapes. I think every artist should make black and white and explore ideas beyond rainbow palettes.”


In past years, students and teachers have often stressed the need for strong composition in black and white works of art. For the last couple of years, the show has expanded to include variant shades of gray.


“I believe that the observer becomes captivated by black, white, and gray works of art,” said retired professor Steve O. Black. “It may appear simple but then they find themselves exploring the complexity of the artist’s use of shapes, lines, movement, rhythm as well as the other elements and principles of design.”


He also said black can assist in the overall development of a composition, but alone it can add an element of drama, sophistication, and elegance.


The 2nd Floor Gallery Hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment. The 2nd Floor Gallery is located on the first floor of the Arts and Communication Center at Grayson College, 6101 Grayson Drive, Denison.