WILMINGTON — A photography exhibit, running the gamut from “realism to abstraction and beautiful to bizarre,” presented by two local artists will be featured at Wilmington College’s Harcum Gallery Monday, June 17 through Aug.2.
David R. Rupp’s colorful combination of wildlife, flowers landscapes and still life is complemented by Hal Shunk’s unique combination of photography and encaustics in this summer exhibit. Rupp has been a carpenter on the College’s Physical Plant staff since 1985 while Shunk, a professor of art, has been a faculty member since 1988.
An opening reception is planned for Monday at 6:30 p.m. Normal gallery hours are weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by special permission from Shunk, the gallery curator. The exhibit also will be open during the College-Community Summer Theatre’s performances of Company, the Musical July 18 through 21.
Shunk described his co-exhibitor as presenting an “attention to detail and beautiful color arrangements that bring life to each of his compositions.” Indeed, the collective exhibit “deals with realism and abstraction, color and balance, the beautiful and bizarre.”
Rupp explained his selection of photographs encompasses images taken between 2006 and 2019, from as far away as Zimbabwe and as close as the natural setting of his own back yard.
“I’ve been taking pictures all my life as a way to share my view with those I love,” he said, noting he often prefers expressing himself through his photography in lieu of the spoken or written word.
“These pictures represent the parts of my past that have moved me.
The memories of experience, the beauty of nature in the moment a bird looks at me through a camera lens,” he added. “Putting together this exhibition has been an emotional journey for me.
“These pictures are my way of sharing myself fully with you and it’s my wish that, in some small way, you see the story of my life in them.”
Shunk calls his own works “Phostics” as they combine photography and encaustics, the artistic use of using pigments mixed with hot wax. “These odd detailed pieces are enhanced by the addition of encaustic overspill,” he said.
Shunk admits he “struggles” with photography, as he is more comfortable expressing himself through painting.
“I tend to take pictures of crazy things. Many of my images are abstract, detached and incomplete,” he said, noting hits photographs were shot over the past 10 years in four different countries.
“I look for the odd, the colorful, the textures and the shapes in a composition — it isn’t always pretty,” Shunk added. He believes his photos “needed something,” so he added the colored wax. “I thought they turned out kind of neat!”