Crafted Installations and Inner Dialogues: Art by Marty Weishaar

Artist Marty Weishaar speaks with students in the Rice Gallery during an artist talk. Weishaar's exhibit "As You Will" is on display in the Rice Gallery in Peterson Hall through Oct. 17. Photo by Calvin Salacain.

At the Rice Gallery on the top floor of Peterson Hall, McDaniel hosts various artists to come in and speak on behalf of their creative processes and describe their thinking when it came to their art. Displayed around the gallery from Sept. 25 to Oct. 17 are installation pieces and canvassed paintings executed by Marty Weishaar.

Marty Weishaar "As You Will"

Photo by Calvin Salacain.

The gallery features blocked installations with crooked walls. Around the largest installation is a wall of green plastic supported by mismatched, uneven wooden frames. This ramshackle fortress is meant to resemble the patchwork of his pieces, according to Weishaar. Several paintings are coated in bleeding colors from attached soaked sponges. Spray-painted stencil letters read, “In the community all are welcome” on one inside the green fortress. Thick paints that look like paste are slathered onto these pieces.

These large, three-dimensional installations were constructed in Weishaar’s own backyard in 13 sections. When transported to galleries, Marty reworked parts of the pieces right there, finishing them off and polishing final details. The installations were created from mass materials from Home Depot. Weishaar wanted to build things in real time. Obsessed with building things together, he wanted to represent himself in the space. He also wanted viewers to get a different feeling out of his pieces — and not get them to see what he sees. “I want to point them to the installations” he said.

Weishaar, who has a BFA from Alfred University and an MFA from American University, described these inner dialogues he has with himself to propel abstract language to set himself up for his artwork. Drawing to him is the forefront of these installations and he lets out angst and compassion through them. “Autonomous paintings relate and collide with each other.” he said. “A community of abstraction creates non-linear things.” His pieces are not meant to last that long, he said.

My experience at the gallery that evening was enlightening and educational. It is always good to hear artists and their perspectives on their own pieces. Getting a detailed explanation on their thought process helps other artists develop their own style. Marty Weishaar is an incredible artist, and we were lucky to have him visit us here at McDaniel.