(Posted Jan. 29, 2020)
Brian Ballenger, a London native now living in Columbus, will present a collection of abstract paintings titled “A Series of Accumulations: Surface and Underlayer” at The Ohio State University Faculty Club.
The solo exhibition will be on display Feb. 24-April 24. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 28. The reception is free and open to the public.
Ballenger has always been drawn to the abstract, and his painting approach has grown from this perspective into his own distinct view of the world. His painting subject has evolved to focus on brushstrokes, working wet-on-wet with oil paints applied in individual brushstrokes on top of differing backgrounds, some purely abstract, others inspired by the paintings of other artists, such as Pierre Bonnard and Marsden Hartley. A series of smaller paintings works with areas of “fade” that contrast with the surrounding geography of the painting.
Another work featured in this exhibition was inspired by one of his great grandmother’s rag rugs. The technique of brushstrokes dragged through wet oil paint communicates depth and light that shifts with the viewer’s perspective.
Ballenger grew up in London and was first exposed to art in high school. He started painting with oils while attending Wittenberg University in Springfield, where he graduated with majors in art and psychology. He holds a master’s degree in expressive therapies from Lesley University, Cambridge, Mass., and took additional courses in social work at The Ohio State University to fulfill requirements for his license in social work.
Ballenger works as a hospice bereavement counselor and finds that these two pursuits–painting and grief support–complement and influence each other in creative ways. Both address “a series of accumulations,” whether on the canvas or in life, and our responses to them.
Ballenger is represented by Sharon Weiss Gallery in the Short North Arts District of Columbus. He exhibited in the 2018 Midyear Exhibition at The Butler Institute of Art in Youngstown, the 2018 and 2019 Fine Arts Exhibitions at the Ohio State Fair, and the Toledo Area Artists Exhibition at The Toledo Museum of Art. He has had solo exhibitions at Sharon Weiss Gallery in Columbus and the Ann Miller Gallery at Wittenberg University, both in 2017. Ballenger’s most recent exhibition was in the group exhibition, “Ohio Paint/Print/Photo,” at the Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, in fall of 2019.
The Ohio State University Faculty Club is located at 181 S. Oval Dr. on the Columbus campus. The art exhibition program features the work of selected OSU faculty, staff, students, alumni and other artists with connections to the university. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. For details, call (614) 292-2262.