Regional Artist Showcase

Port Royal artist Sanker has created
artwork that is uniquely his own

His work part of Regional Artist Showcase

By Helen E. McKinney

CARROLLTON, Ky. (May 2004) – Tom Sanker takes a distinctive approach to painting. Not satisfied with traditional acrylic paints, he has dabbled over the years to create a style that is uniquely his own.
A customer who buys one of Sanker’s paintings gets “two paintings for the price of one,” said the Port Royal, Ky., resident.

Tom Sanker

Photo by Rita Stangle

Artist Tom Sanker with one of his paintings.

Sanker mixes acrylic paint with phosphorous paint to create a scene on canvas. The total effect is not visible on one of his paintings in the daylight, but they take on an ethereal glow in the dark.
Sanker will be just one of more than 20 artists participating in the Mary Ann Gentry Memorial Regional Artist Showcase during the month of May. Works by various artists will be on display at the Carroll County Public Library.
An April 30 reception is planned to kick off the month-long show. The reception will begin at 7 p.m. at the library and the public is invited.
The library sponsors this art show in part “to make the community aware of what’s available at the library,” said library staff member Shannon Taylor. The library promotes many events, activities and cultural ideas within the community, said Taylor.
There will be a combination of multi-media artwork on display. Works included in this fine art exhibit include sculpture, paintings, pencil drawings and a 4x6-foot mural.
While the art show is open to all area artists, most have a connection to Carroll County, said Taylor. Sanker has participated since the show’s conception in 1997.
Sanker, 49, described his paintings as “inspirational portraits.” He first improvises a color scheme in experimental layers until a figure or face emerges. From that point, he builds around the figure.
He begins a painting in abstract and builds it into a figurative representation. Each painting “has its own unique style,” he said. Although he may not have definite details worked out before beginning a work, the painting takes on a life of its own as he works to guide it into a completed form.
Sanker said of his technique, “its like the layering aspect of architecture.” Each builds on the next until a clear figure or idea emerges. The end result has the effect of capturing light on canvas.
He first tried painting with phosphorous paints after graduating from Arizona State University, where he had studied urban design. Sanker thought he had “to paint to get a feel for design.” He enjoyed the process so much that he stuck with it, relishing the sense of discovery and adventure that accompanied each new painting.
The artist has exhibited his works in several galleries in Louisville, Cincinnati and Atlanta, and locally in the Amyx Gallery at the Smith-Berry Winery in New Castle, Ky.
Sanker said his paintings are “a way of recording my day to day life. I can see where I’ve been. They are a personal diary in the form of discovery.”

• For more information, call the Carroll County Public Library at (502) 732-7020.

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