Open Studio Night: Curator’s Talk at (106) Gallery

Join (106) Gallery, Wednesday, May 18, 6-7pm, for a special Open Studio Night Gallery lecture following the current exhibition: “Jaro Hess: ‘A Truly Free Life'”

Czechoslovakian-born Jaro Hess (1889-1977) moved to Grand Rapids in the 1920s as landscaper and gardener, but his occupations encompassed a wide variety of interests, most memorably his artistic projects. Humorous, dark, mischievous and always whimsical, Hess’ paintings and drawings are windows into a vibrant imagination.

This lecture, given by Calvin College honors Art History and English graduating senior, Julia LaPlaca, offers a brief introduction to Jaro’s life, work, and his place in Grand Rapids. Hess created the lion share of his illustrations, paintings, and his most well-known illustrative map, “The Land of Make Believe”, in Grand Rapids. However, his work has only stayed on the fringes of Grand Rapids artistic history, even though Hess did have connections to the other artists in the community. In this way, Hess is something of an outsider artist. Jaro’s work emphasizes many parallel or outside worlds, whether it is story-book tales, parapsychology, or a visual catalogue of myths of Jaro’s own invention. The strangeness and charm of his art has continued to intrigue viewers long after his death.

Location: (106) Gallery and Studio, 106 S. Division ave, Grand Rapids, 49503

Questions? Ask Gallery Assistant Paula Manni:

image: Jaro Hess, The Jungle II, 1971. Oil on canvas

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