'Wherever You Go, There You Are': Art by Daniel Kerlin On Display

“Palace Rooms (Hot Springs, AR)” by Dan Kerlin. (Transparent Watercolor; collection of Anita Le Flett.)
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“Palace Rooms (Hot Springs, AR)” by Dan Kerlin. (Transparent Watercolor; collection of Anita Le Flett.)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In honor of Arkansas Heritage Month, and its theme -- “Saving Our Heritage: Arkansas’s Historic Structures,” -- the University Libraries are hosting an exhibit of watercolors and prints by Daniel Kerlin, “Wherever You Go, There You Are,” featuring several local landmarks and buildings.

Many of the works in this exhibit of transparent watercolor paintings immortalize humble buildings and businesses that defined the character of a place in times past, such as “Jerry’s Homestyle Cooking” on College Avenue, “Roger’s Rec” on Dickson Street, and “Dave’s Barber Shop,” all in Fayetteville; “The Alvin Hotel” in Hot Springs; “Peck’s Drive In” in Little Rock; and the Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs. Longtime Fayetteville residents will remember an iconic local character depicted at Dave’s Barber Shop, Stevie Deffebaugh, who died in 2004. In other paintings, Kerlin celebrates the commonplace, such as in his “Mexican Beer Truck” and “Kingpins Cans,” which appears to be a close up view of a pantry shelf packed with Southern staples like Jiffy Cornbread Mix and Allen’s canned Black Beans.

The subject matter itself is an effort to record manufactured objects that are extraordinarily commonplace, yet smack of uniqueness. Kerlin’s style is crisp, colorful and translucent. From a distance, one might mistake the paintings for photographs. Upon closer approach, the viewer discovers a bold interpretation of subject and an exaggeration of color uncommon in photography. There is a graphic quality to many of the pieces that reflects, as the artist puts it, “the sign painter and cartoonist inside.”

 Dan Kerlin was born in Dayton, Ohio, and moved to Fayetteville when he was six years old. It was here in the small towns of Northwest Arkansas that Kerlin’s interest in painting took root, settling on transparent watercolor as his medium of expression. Inspired by traditional painters such as Hopper, Homer and Rockwell, he has developed a unique style of painting to present his vision of our world. Kerlin asks that his work “not be taken too seriously, but enjoyed.”

The award-winning artist has exhibited his work in numerous shows and competitions around the United States, including Watercolor USA, in Springfield, Mo., and the National Arts Club in New York. He is also a former member of the Louisiana Watercolor Society.

“Wherever You Go, There You Are” will be on display in Mullins Library through the end of June. The exhibit is free and open to the public and may be viewed all hours the library is open.

Contacts

Molly Boyd, assistant to the dean
University Libraries
479-575-2962, mdboyd@uark.edu

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