Haynes Galleries presents
“Gary Akers: Magic Moments”, Oct. 12 to Nov. 9, 2012
Reception: Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. October 12

Haynes Galleries is pleased to present “Gary Akers: Magic Moments,” a selection of the artist’s most recent egg tempera, drybrush and watercolor paintings. The exhibit will run from Oct. 12 to Nov. 6, 2012 at Haynes’ new gallery in the historic Music Row Roundabout.

Akers, a contemporary American realist whose mastery and attention to detail evokes Andrew Wyeth, coaxes the magical out of the mundane with every brushstroke. His paintings are like time capsules, preserving singular moments in time — small moments that speak volumes about a vanishing way of life. His is a romantic vision, one steeped in the beauty and simplicity of his subjects..

His paintings are an ode to rural living. He finds poetry in the rolling fields of Kentucky, the captivating light of a Maine summer, the beauty of a weathered farmhouse.

Such scenes take Akers back to summers spent on his grandparents’ farm in Michigan. He remembers the dirt roads. Hundreds of acres of untouched land. His paintings take viewers back to another era, where time passes more slowly and lives are tied inextricably to the land.

Of particular interest is a series of paintings of the Borders brothers — William, Elmer, and Woodrow — bachelor farmers who lived together in a home without running water or electricity. Akers met the brothers in 1980, and he returned to their farmhouse again and again, drawing inspiration from the elegant simplicity of their world.

In “William’s Orchard,” William stands before a bare apple tree, burlap sack slung over his shoulder, contemplating the season gone by. “Woodrow’s Basket” is a study of sunlight and shade, color and pattern. In Akers’ hands, a still life becomes so much more: a hand-woven basket filled to the brim with apples rests on a windowsill, brilliant red against a cerulean wall, paint faded and cracked by time.

His Maine paintings are equally charged with emotion. Akers first came to Maine in 1976, when he received an international grant from the Greenshields Foundation, Montreal, Canada to study egg tempera at the Metropolitan Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, and the Farnsworth Art Museum. Both the medium and the place stayed with Akers, a Kentucky native who has since spent every summer on that stretch of rocky coast that beckoned the Wyeths, Winslow Homer and countless other artists before him.

While many artists are drawn to Maine’s majestic landscape, Akers is more focused on the landscape of the heart — evocative images that are comforting, familiar and yet entirely fresh. His scenes are classic Maine — whitewashed farmhouses, laundry hanging out to dry in the crisp salt air — but they’re also quintessentially American. He chooses a palette of crisp reds, whites and blues, punctuated with green grasses and dark pines. Iconic imagery permeates his work — a flag hanging on a porch, potted geraniums, an antique quilt.

These are quiet scenes, country scenes, scenes that are rapidly disappearing. Perhaps that is why there is a certain sense of urgency in Akers’ paintings — a longing to celebrate this legacy. To ensure that men like the Borders brothers aren’t forgotten. To prove that places like the Maine coast — with its two-lane roads and functional lighthouses — still exist. To capture —through thousands of tiny, deliberate brushstrokes — the light and the feeling of these lives. To preserve these “Magic Moments” for generations to come.