Gallery 103 in Maplewood is hosting an art exhibit of oil paintings by award-winning children’s book illustrator and painter, Adam Gustavson. The show, titled SWIMMERS, will be open from April 1 – April 30, 2017 with a reception on April 6 from 7-9pm.

The exhibit features Gustavson’s oil paintings of swimmers underwater, viewed from above and outside. Although some works have been in group shows, most of the paintings haven’t been previously exhibited and the series has never been hung all together in one cohesive exhibit.

Gustavson describes the series:

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The swimmer series ties into a tradition of painting bathers and swimmers to some degree, but it relates more to the motivation behind bather paintings: finding an excuse to make things. The bather motif always provided a narrative context for painting academic nudes. That said, my interests lie in the appearance of exaggeration and grotesquerie—the domain of caricature and cartooning, and relegated to so-called low art—in daily life, as well as the sort of thing Turner was after, finding abstraction in the real, or motion within something static. They’re very old goals. I’d like to think there’s some mystery of passing through childhood in the squiggles and stretches of the paintings, too, particularly from the vantage point of a parent trying to understand his rapidly changing children, and this is a way into that without romanticizing them too much, but still looking for the little transient moments that a good portrait tries to freeze in time.

The illustrator of over twenty highly-praised and award-winning books for children, Gustavson’s work has been featured in the juried annual exhibitions of The New York Society of Illustrators, The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, and Communication Arts Magazine. He has received such awards as The Christopher Award, The Sydney Taylor Award, and the 2013 MASL Show Me Award. He teaches art for all levels, and has spoken and conducted workshops at colleges, high schools and elementary schools. Along with being a renowned illustrator, Gustavson is a highly talented oil painter. His paintings have been exhibited in shows regionally and nationally, and hang in many private collections.

Geralyn Robinson, owner of Gallery 103, says: “Adam’s work is a beautiful balance of realism and abstraction combined with a bit of humor and full of rich, vibrant colors.  We are excited to bring this interesting series together in one exhibit - definitely not to be missed.”

The exhibit is hosted by Geralyn’s Art Studio and Gallery 103 along with Arts in SOMa and the Valley. Geralyn’s Art Studio has been a Maplewood fixture for 15 years and is an annual sponsor of the Maplewood Art Walk and Music Fest. Gallery 103 is housed in the front suite of the studio and has been supporting local and regional artists since 2014.

Arts in SOMa and the Valley (ASMV) is a local email and web-based events calendar listing all of the arts/cultural events in Maplewood, South Orange, and the Valley Arts District, which includes parts of Orange and West Orange. Both Gallery 103 and ASMV are dedicated to supporting the local arts scene and the creative people who make it all happen.

More about:

Adam Gustavson: adamgustavson.com

Geralyn’s Art Studio and Gallery 103: 103 Baker St., Maplewood, NJ; (973) 275-1966; geralynsartstudio.com/

Arts in SOMa and the Valley: artsinsomaandthevalley.com