Fairfield First Fridays: Watercolors at Wege Gallery and New Shows at ICON and FAA

Print by Bella Bowman of Pekin High School, at the Fairfield Art Association’s student show, opening on Friday, April 5.

Fairfield’s monthly First Friday event brings several new exhibitions to the Fairfield square, plus the last chance to purchase watercolors by Edwin Schwartz at the MIU Wege Gallery, on Friday, April 5, 5:30=8:30 p.m.

A closing exhibition for over 100 watercolors by artist and architect Edwin Schwartz will be held 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Wege Gallery on the MIU campus. All works are for sale, and proceeds go towards scholarships for students in the MFA and MA programs.

Watercolor by Edwin Schwartz

Edwin Schwartz (father of longtime Fairfield resident Eric Schwartz) was born on January 28, 1921, in New York City.  Edwin worked as an architect at his father’s firm in NYC, Accurate Construction. His love of nature and art was inextricably woven into his professional and personal life. A member of the American Watercolor Society, Schwartz maintained a sense of humor and humility in his artistic endeavors throughout his 70-year career.

Water color by Edwin Schwartz

Edwin loved trees and nature. Most of his 500 watercolors were landscapes, though later works sometimes included dilapidated structures or figures. He favored simple everyday life scenes, often with “imperfections”—dead trees, broken down barns, walls with peeling paint. He started with a wet surface, which allowed the color to move and create powerful, unpredictable images.

The watercolors can be purchased in the gallery or online at Wege Center.

Opening by Jim Weidle at ICON Gallery

A show of paintings by Jim Weidle will open at ICON Gallery, 6:30–10 p.m.
“Jim Weidle is one of the best artists living in Fairfield,” says ICON Director Bill Teeple. “A solo show at ICON is long overdo, and it’s my pleasure to share the incredible range of his realistic work. He truly is a painter’s painter.”

Teeple says that his work is best described by the artist himself:  “Some say I am a ‘realist painter,'” Weidle writes. “What does that mean? Georgia O’Keeffe contends, ‘Nothing is less real than realism. Details are ambiguous, confusing. Content requires selecting, omitting, and emphasis or de-emphasis.’

“Painting can be a generous thing,” he continues. “It has the decency to hold still. Allowing the eye a tiny but wild freedom: to travel as it will.”

Artwork by 11th grader Lola Hatchette

The Fairfield Art Association presents the work of talented high school students from Fairfield and Pekin. Over 100 works in a wide range of mediums will be on view at the FAA Gallery in the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.

Finally, the works of Fairfield photographers, both amateur and professional, will be on display at the Fairfield CoLab and pop-up venues around the square from 6-9 p.m.