Now in the Judith Holiday Gallery
BRANCHING OUT: Paintings by Kent Goetz
As a scene designer, I have been painting for the theatre for over 30 years in order to create environments that honor the intention of the playwright, support the natural power of the actor and engage the imagination of the audience. While I find great satisfaction in my profession collaborating with others to bring a play to life, I also find peace and gratification in the solitary activity of studio painting. This summer, rather than filling my summer designing scenery for the stage, I focused much of my energy on making art for art sake, to see if I could transfer the same principles and techniques I have employed over the years as a designer for the theatre into painting a series simple canvases that could be enjoyed for their own beauty, rather than in support of a production.
Like most of us I admire the beauty and grandeur of trees. I also marvel at the drama I see in the way a tree interacts with its surroundings - standing singularly tall and majestic in an open meadow for instance, or combining forces with its comrades to mark the boundary of a lonely farm. I see drama in the way limbs intersect and collide with each other forming intricate, organic shapes that would be impossible to imagine; the way leaves filter the anemic, summer sky revealing patches of intense color in the forest beyond; or the way a tree trunk fallen across a creek reminds me that nothing lasts forever, that the end of one thing means new opportunities for others. I learn lessons by observing the lines, shapes, colors and textures of a tree. Like humans, each tree is unique, with its own character and history. By painting a tree, I'm trying to discover and reveal the drama implicit in the way it conflicts and integrates with the world around it.
I am extremely grateful to the folks at Kitchen Theatre Company for allowing me to exhibit my work in their lobby this season. While the subject of my paintings had no intentional connection to my scene design for the Kitchen's production of LONELY PLANET, now that I can envision the two existing in the same building simultaneously, I'm surprised and delighted by the correspondence between the two. I invite the viewers to discover their own connection.
University of Wisconson, Madison, WI: MFA in Scene Design, 1982
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI: BA in Theatre Education, 1977