SMC Visual, Performing Arts chairman to present at Grand Rapids symposium

DOWAGIAC — Southwestern Michigan College Visual and Performing Arts Chairman Marc Dombrosky will be a presenter for the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts’ Friday symposium, “David Park and the Bay Area Figurative Movement.”

Park (1911-1960) played a seminal role in reviving figurative work in the 1950s, when New York-style abstract expressionism was the rage.

Dombrosky, an SMC professor since 2010 who also directs the Art Gallery, will speak on “Eastbound and Down? From Bay Area to Midwest.” He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in painting from the University of Florida and Ohio State University, respectively.

“For me, growing up in Ohio, followed by Florida where I selected painting as my field of choice while living in Gainesville — all the while being indoctrinated by East Coast painters — I found myself, like Park, heading for the California coast the first chance I got,” Dombrosky recalled.

Dombrosky immediately drove west upon graduating college “to put everything into motion; to drive off into the sunset and then watch it rise anew from the other side. California was — for Park and I both, maybe — mobility, migration, fragmentation, rebellion and newness. Without any real possibilities on the horizon, it was the only possibility.”

Dombrosky’s title refers to Jerry Reed’s title track for the 1977 film, “Smokey and the Bandit.” At the time, selling Coors east of the Mississippi River without a permit was illegal. Burt Reynolds’ Bandit agrees to run beer from Texas to Georgia within 28 hours, Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) in hot pursuit.

“At the heart of this whole project, for me, is the question of mobility,” Dombrosky said.

The KIA is the only Midwest venue hosting “David Park: A Retrospective,” the first major exhibition in more than 30 years to present the influential artist’s work. The artist’s daughter, Helen Park Bigelow, speaks the Thursday night.

Organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the show presents nearly 100 paintings and drawings spanning Park’s career from the 1930s to his death from cancer at 49. Raised in Boston, diagnosed in childhood with profound vision loss and having just a year of formal art education, Park moved to Los Angeles in 1928.

Called “one of the most art-historically underrated artists of the mid-20th Century” in 2019 by The Wall Street Journal, the exhibition illuminates the evolution of Park’s colorful painting style — thick brushstrokes exploring contemporary life in portraits, landscapes and interiors.

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township Edwardsburg Police Log: Feb. 15-22

Dowagiac

SMC graduate experiences Super Bowl

Dowagiac

Dowagiac women aim to create change through local government

Dowagiac

SMC COVID task force leader talks with Dowagiac Rotary Club

Business

Niles roller rink reopens following legal battle

Berrien County

Michigan Works! announces community wide survey to learn about COVID-19’s impact

Cass County

Cass County prepares to adjust to criminal justice reforms

Berrien County

Michiana Family Center seeks mentors for foster teens

Business

Nobo Michigan opens Edwardsburg location

Cassopolis

Businesses battle over land use in Cassopolis’ Industrial Park

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Feb. 19-24

Berrien County

Mount Calvary Baptist to host COVID-19 vaccination clinic March 5

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports new COVID-19 death

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department, Spectrum Health Lakeland give vaccination updates

Cass County

Applications open for Cass County Sheriff’s Community Scholarship

Berrien County

Berrien County commissioners send message to state on regionalizing COVID-19 approach

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD to host superintendent interviews Monday

Cass County

Michigan Works! to open office in Cass County administration building

Business

Dollar General, marijuana microbusiness, Iron Shoe expansion coming to Niles

Dowagiac

Silver Creek Township Planning Commission tables short-term rental ordinance draft vote

News

New SOS online, self-service options coming soon

Business

Niles restaurant week to showcase 18 restaurants

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 583,964 cases, 15,405 deaths

Cass County

Cass County GOP censures Congressman Fred Upton for vote against Marjorie Taylor Greene