In the Finger Lakes region of western New York, I grew up in a family that was struggling to make it into the middle-class. The idea of being an artist didn't even seem possible, even though I had felt a desire to express myself from an early age. My parents were encouraging but didn't know how to get me the instruction and direction needed so I tried different ways to express myself-- writing, drawing, wood carving, screen-printing and leatherwork, among other things. But nothing ever fully engaged me, satisfied the yen inside. So the urge was put aside for many years as I pursued a wide range of jobs in my early adulthood. I worked as a candy cook/ union steward in a factory, I swept chimneys and built swimming pools, even having my own pool business for several years. I worked as a day laborer, a car salesman and, finally, as a waiter in a pancake house in my mid-thirties. The idea of being an artist was nowhere on my radar.
At that time, I was building a home for my wife and myself in a piece of woods we had bought several years before. One day, while working on the house alone, my ladder slipped from under me and sent me plummeting to the ground, sixteen feet below. I shattered my wrist and knocked out some teeth and was out of the pancake house for a few months. During that time, I pulled out some old airbrush paints from a prior failed attempt at expression and began using them with a brush pushed into my cast.
Something had changed. I saw a glimmer of possibility for expression in the paint that had been missing in all previous attempts. There was a discernible rhythm and harmony in the paint now. I began painting obsessively, each new attempt pushing me to the next. I was following my own instincts with the materials I chose, trying to find those materials and mediums that fit the way I felt my mind was seeing things and working, rather than trying to make my mind fit the way the mediums would traditionally be used. This period of experimenting and self-teaching was the beginning of a personal style that would blossom in the next few years.
After a year of obsessive painting, I showed my work to the owners of a local gallery, the West End Gallery, in Corning. They saw something they liked in the work and asked me if I could have work ready for their upcoming group show. That was February of 1995. Three years later, I was a regular seller in several galleries and, after a large commission for a new Corning Inc. facility, had the confidence to make the leap to full-time painter.
My work has its own visual vocabulary that helps evoke the emotion that I am trying to convey rather than a sense of specific place. I have become well known by collectors for my signature Red Trees as well as several other series that include Red Roofs, Red Chairs and the Archaeology series of recent years.
Since I first started showing my paintings back in 1995, I have had 40 solo exhibitions of my work at galleries around the country. In 2012, I had my first solo West Coast show as well as my first solo museum exhibition at the prestigious Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY. My work has been collected around the world and has hung in the American Embassies in Nepal and Uganda.
I am married to my high-school sweetheart, Cheri, and have a home and studio in the Horseheads, NY area. I am represented by the West End Gallery in Corning, NY; the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA; the Kada Gallery in Erie, PA; and the Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Exhibition Record (Galleries and Art Shows):|
2014 West End Gallery, "Strata", Corning, NY
2014 Principle Gallery, "Traveler", Alexandria, VA solo
2013 Kada Gallery, Erie PA "Alchemy"
2013 West End Gallery, “Islander”, Corning, NY solo
2013 Principle Gallery, “Observers”, Alexandria, VA solo
2012 Just Looking Gallery, “The Waking Moment”, San Luis Obispo, CA solo
2012 KADA Gallery, “Inward Bound”, Erie, PA solo
2012 West End Gallery, “In Rhythm” Corning, NY solo
2012 Principle Gallery, “A Place to Stand”, Alexandria, VA solo
2011 West End Gallery, “Avatars”, Corning, NY solo
2011 Principle Gallery, “Now and Then”, Alexandria, VA solo
2010 KADA Gallery, “Toward Possibility”, Erie, PA solo
2010 West End Gallery, “New Days”, Corning, NY solo
2010 Principle Gallery, “Facets”, Alexandria, VA solo
2009 West End Gallery, “Dispatches”, Corning, NY solo
2009 Principle Gallery, “10th Annual Show”, Alexandria, VA solo
2008 KADA Gallery, “The Time Has Come”, Erie, PA solo
2008 The Haen Gallery, “Now...”, Asheville, NC solo
2008 West End Gallery, “A New Archaeology”, Corning,NY solo
2008 Principle Gallery, “Archaeology”, Alexandria, VA solo
2007 The Haen Gallery, “In Quiet Places”, Asheville, NC solo
2007 West End Gallery, “Quietheart”, Corning, NY solo
2007 Principle Gallery, “Signs of Silence”, Alexandria, VA solo
2006 The Haen Gallery, “Into the Heart”, Asheville, NC solo
2006 KADA Gallery, “Along the Way”, Erie, PA solo
2006 West End Gallery, “Journey”, Corning, NY solo
2006 Principle Gallery, “FOCUS”, Alexandria, VA solo
2005 Principle Gallery , “ In the Window” ,Alexandria, VA solo
2005 West End Gallery , “Life Force”, Corning, NY solo
2004 Principle Gallery , “Common Ground”, Alexandria, VA solo
2004 KADA Gallery, “Color of Music”, Erie, PA solo
2004 West End Gallery, “In the Center”, Corning, NY solo
2003 Principle Gallery, “Found Light”, Alexandria, Virginia solo
2003 West End Gallery, “Anticipations”, Corning , NY solo
2002 Principle Gallery, “Darkness Visible”, Alexandria, Virginia solo
2001 Principle Gallery, “Seeking Imperfection”, Alexandria, Virginia solo
2000 Principle Gallery , “Redtree”, Alexandria, Virginia solo
1999 West End Gallery, Spring Showcase, featuring G.C. Myers, Corning, NY solo
1999 Principle Gallery, “ A Group of Five- Recent Paintings from the Finger Lakes”, Alexandria, VA
1998 ARTS of the Southern Finger Lakes Galleryspace, Corning, NY solo
1998 Principle Gallery, “A Group of Five- American Realists of the Finger Lakes”, Alexandria, VA
1997 Gmeiner Art Center, “Exiles: Works of G.C. Myers”, Wellsboro, PA solo
1996 Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, “Illustration/Art”, Auburn, NY
GC Myers' Paintings Go Inward at Kada Gallery
Karen Rene Merkle/ Erie Times-News / November 1, 2012
We get an Olympics every two years. While the biennial show of works by GC Myers at the Kada Gallery might not have quite that global import, it has become a highlight of monumental proportion on the local exhibit calendar.
If you look forward to the Myers event, your time is now. "Inward Bound," a collection of nearly 60 new Myers acrylic paintings on canvas and paper, takes the viewer on both a visual and spiritual journey. It's a chock-a-block show, bursting with quality as well as quantity.
There's no mistaking Myers' style, or that this is most decidedly a Myers show. He paints with and for the mind, as well as the eye. Each piece is accompanied by a text panel, many of which rather extensively describe the artist's thought process and what the imagery means to him. Whether it means the same to you is, as always with art, your choice.
Myers is a landscape artist. His world is one of deceptive simplicity that embodies everywhere and nowhere.
"That universal aspect is the big appeal for me," he has said. "I have never wanted my painting to represent one area, one place. Over the years I have had people from all over the world ... tell me that the paintings reminded them of home."
His scenes include houses, hills, trees, vast skies -- typical elements found in landscapes, but there's nothing typical about what he does with them. Myers doesn't paint on canvas alone; he applies gesso with brushes, trowels and his fingers to create thick, textured layers. He creates a surface, he says, "that has an almost sculptural feel with real visual interest before I have even placed a drop of paint on it."
When the paint does go on, there's no confusing his rich, earthy palette with that of anyone else.
"I wanted my work to be expressive of emotion, and to do so I needed a visual vocabulary and style that was my own," Myers said. "And color was a big part of it. I wanted deep and saturated colors but not pure colors. I wanted complex colors with bits of multiple colors making up the whole."
"The whole" is a world of blue suns and green skies and red fields, an alternate reality fairy tale land that is more about aura than actuality. "I use colors that fit my mood at the moment," he says, "not colors that fit what one might see in nature. If the painting has a complete and harmonious feel, these out of place colors don't distract you at all. In fact, they often do the opposite, accentuating the emotional response to the scene."
Myers relies on recurring imagery to form the ultimate connection with his audience, one of mutual trust and understanding. Red chairs represent memories; pathways and winding rivers recall life's journey. Single trees, hillocks, and islands symbolize loneliness but also our ultimate dominion over our own realities.
If you're a Myers fan, this exhibit is just what you want it to be. If you're not a fan yet, the artist's clear-eyed, openhearted approach can't help but win you over.