Starting today, all you Virginia-based Charley Harper fans can view works by the master illustrator and artist in Beguiled by the Wild at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, February 27 through April 25, 2010.
This is the first exhibit in Virginia of Charley Harper‘s artwork and is centered around the personal collection of Executive Director Page Hayhurst and her family (Lisa Evans, Lynn Hayhurst Keller and Wade Hayhurst). It also includes student artwork and interactive art activities in Harper’s style (tangrams, large puzzles, alphabet art table and rubbing stations). The exhibit is supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Newport News Arts Commission.
During his long and prolific career, Charley Harper illustrated numerous books, most notably The Golden Book of Biology, magazines such as Ford Times, as well as many prints, posters, and other works. His work focused on natural, with birds as a frequent subject. Harper often created works for nature-based organizations, among them the National Park Service; Cincinnati Zoo; Cincinnati Nature Center; Hamilton County, Ohio Park District; and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania.
Harper was best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints, posters and book illustrations. He called his style “minimal realism,” capturing the essence of his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements. Using graphic shapes and bold colors, Harper distilled and simplified complex elements. His nature-oriented artwork is often contrasted with the realism of John James Audubon and the simplicity found in Inuit Art.