During the month of September, South Street Art Gallery in Easton will host two unique exhibits by Delaware artist Steve Rogers and former Easton gallery owner, Louis Escobedo. A solo exhibition of Steve’s work will open at South Street Art Gallery on September 6 and continue through September 21. There will be a First Friday Gallery Walk reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on September 6. A special exhibit and sale of Louis’ work will open at South Street Art Gallery on September 21, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m., and continue through September 30.
Delaware Artist Steve Rogers and His Love of Boats
Steve Rogers has loved boats and water all his life. Not only does he paint boats, he builds them in ship model form. He is a nationally-recognized ship model builder, has written five books on the subject, teaches at The Woodenboat School in Maine, and won a certificate of commendation at the Modelbuilders Competition at the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia. Steve is also a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists.
“My work is best described as marine art. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by boats, the ocean and the coastal marshes,” says the Lewes, Delaware artist. “I love the structure inherent in the design of a ship, or the docks and warehouses of a working waterfront. So much of what we see today of our marine heritage is slowly fading away under the irresistible and relentless pressure of development. My work is simply a small effort to preserve some memories of what used to be for those who remember fondly, and those who are unaware of what life was like only a few short decades ago. Some people have said there is a sadness about my work. To some extent, there is. But it is more a recognition, admiration, and respect for the lives and work of the watermen.”
Although model building and fine art would seem unrelated, each supports and enhances the other. Understanding construction methods, thinking in three dimensions, and working from blueprints and photographs allows Steve to visualize the boats and ships that become the subjects of his paintings.
Steve works primarily in acrylics and paints traditional working craft. These are not pampered fiberglass yachts, but hard-bitten and over-worked oystermen, crabbers, and menhaden steamers. His paintings capture the toughness and durability of everyday working boats and the sheer beauty and stark terror of the weather and waters they work in.
Steve is the recipient of the 2005 Established Artist Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts. He has been honored with the title “Master” in the 2015 Delaware By Hand Masters Exhibition. Steve is represented by the Peninsula Gallery in Lewes, Delaware. He also was recently inducted into the Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame for his work painting the ships of the Menhaden fleet.
Artist Escobedo Returns to Easton for Workshop and Special Exhibit
Louis Escobedo and his wife Yolanda are former Easton residents and owners of 717 Gallery on Goldsborough Street. Although they loved their time living on the East Coast the West beckoned so they moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in June of 2017. Louis and Yolanda had lived in Texas and Colorado for many years before moving to Maryland in 2003 for Yolanda’s career. They purchased a second home in Easton in 2010 and opened 717 Gallery in October 2013.
Louis agreed to come back to deliver a workshop at the invitation of the Academy Art Museum because he missed his many friends from the Eastern Shore. After long consideration he also decided to bring some of his most recent paintings to show with fine art dealer and collector Alan Brock at South Street Art Gallery.
Louis is an award-winning artist with an enthusiastic following, and a popular workshop teacher. Of his approach to painting, Louis says, “Whether it’s people walking down the street, a kitchen sink, or a beautiful landscape, I strive for my paintings to have imagination, color, and insight of all that I see and feel. I’m always striving to master my use of color, tone and texture.
“Color is like a person’s signature; if it’s the right color, I have to have it. And when I find those colors I feel it immediately, like hearing music so beautiful that I have to stop whatever else I’m doing and listen. My paintings are all about composition, value, color, and emotion.”
South Street Art Gallery is located at 5 South Street in Easton. The gallery is open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. For more information about South Street Art Gallery, visit www.southstreetartgallery.com.