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Exploring art through a *different* perspective

I paid my first visit, shamefully, to Envision Arts Gallery on East Douglas this week. Envision works with and helps support those with blindness, low vision, and other disabilities. The gallery offers exhibitions to accomplished artists, as well as those, of different ages, who are working to grow and gain knowledge. I found the works of painter Jenny Knapp, and sculptor Monte Arst in the main gallery space.

Knapp’s paintings are abstract, multi-colored fields of cross-hatched plains which form deep fields of color that radiate profound energy. The sculptures by Monte Arst are clear, glass vessels which have all been wrapped in clinging sheets of black rubber. The work is described as “a negotiation between the beauty of the human condition and the suffering we experience that unites us all.”

As an artist I spend great amounts of time looking at art, studying art, and studying forms in nature. And when it comes time to apply what I have learned to canvas, the battle usually begins. I learned a great lesson at Envision Art Gallery—that the greatest works of art do not spring from what is seen and then rendered—but what is felt and then shared. It’s the feeling and imagination that springs from a depth within, beyond a realized awareness, that creation’s deepest essence springs forth. And I am but a mindless maker of marks where that universe exists.

I will seek to become a better painter by studying the artists who see with their hearts rather than their eyes. I am putting Envision Arts Gallery on my regular rounds of visitation. If you are an artist, or just love great art, I encourage you to do the same.

Curt Clonts is a Wichita-born artist who volunteers as KMUW's art reviewer. When Curt isn’t working in his College Hill studio he is usually spending time with his wife, kids, and grandkids. He also spends the spring and summer months kayaking and camping.