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‘Two Worlds’

Madison, Ind., artists Knoble, Wells
join forces for art show

The exhibit to show their
similarities in line, color, thought

(September 2014) – One artist hails from Buffalo, N.Y.; the other is a life-long Hoosier. A span of 40 years separates them in age. At first glance, Lou Knoble and Patty Cooper Wells might seem like an unlikely choice of artists to pair for an exhibition. But their work naturally complements each artist’s unique style.
“Two Worlds” art exhibition of their work will be on display at Madison, Ind.’s West Street Art Center from Sept. 15 through Oct. 19. The exhibition speaks of two individual artists who are kindred spirits in line, color and thought.

Wells Knoble

Photo by Jenny Straub Youngblood

Lou Knoble and Patty Cooper Wells will present a joint art show in September at the West Street Art Center in Madison, Ind. They are posed above with a painting by Wells titled “Cacophony II.”

Knoble paints colorful canvases in oil wherein people and objects are interspersed with geometric patterns, sometimes transforming into abstraction. Wells creates vibrant acrylic portraits with palette knife and brushstrokes of color that dance with emotion. She depicts cryptic still-lifes on wood and canvas, creates collages and assemblages with found objects, and experiments with 3-D conceptual pieces.
“Many of the works in this exhibit are meditations upon time and space. Both of our works are full of our unique self-referential iconography, as I suppose every artist has in one form or another,” says Wells.
With Wells, that iconography includes doors, hands, blue sky, skeleton keys, key holes, clock-works and depictions of antique items. Iconographies often prominent in Knoble’s work are shimmering squares, paper boats, lady bugs, and of course his signature five white squares that appear in every Knoble painting.
At 83, Knoble is an artistic force to be reckoned with. His daily walks around Madison with camera in hand provide him with ample subject matter for his paintings. He still paints prolifically as well as staying active in local organizations.
Knoble studied Abstract Expressionism with Peter Busa (close friend and compatriot of Jackson Pollack) at the University of New York in Buffalo. Knoble moved to Madison in 1964 when he accepted a job as director of the Madison Consolidated Schools Art Department. He soon adapted his painting to a more representational style when he discovered that abstract art was not accepted in Madison at that time.
After 30 years inspiring countless young Madison artists, Knoble retired from the school system. After retirement, he worked part time at Hanover College as assistant track coach, assistant cross country coach and teaching an occasional art course. In 2012, Knoble was awarded the Hanover College Medal for Excellence in the Arts from President Sue DeWine. Hanover College also named a biennial exhibition at the Greiner Art Gallery “The Knoble” in his honor.
Wells has lived in Madison for 14 years. She met Knoble in 1996.
“I was sketching jazz musicians at a Madison Winery one evening, and I turned around and there was Lou sketching at another table! I had admired his work for some time before that. Over the years, Lou has been a mentor of sorts to me, as he is to so many other Madison artists,” says Wells.
Wells studied with artist Paul E. Neufelder at his Magic Theater Studio in the early 1990s. She has always felt a kinship with the surrealists and the Dada artists of the early 20th century. Wells’ work has been featured in several regional exhibits, including The Cinergy Collection in 1996 and the Greiner Art Gallery at Hanover College in 2009 in the exhibit “In Our Own Backyard.” Wells is also a muralist with several murals in downtown Madison. She curated the On the Wall Art Gallery at Joeyg’s Restaurant and Nightclub from 2000 until 2013.
“Lou and I are excited to be exhibiting at the West Street Art Center. The West Street Art Center has become a vibrant part of Madison’s art scene in the last few years.” says Wells.
“Two Worlds” fits in perfectly with curator-proprietor Peter Ellis’s vision for his art center: to engage the public with a new art experience in Madison. The West Street Art Center showcases regional talent as well as works by national artists. The exhibits change on a monthly basis.    
There will be an opening reception for “Two Worlds” from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19. The artists will present a short gallery talk at 8 p.m. The West Street Art Center is located at 301 West Street in Madison. The gallery is open daily from 4-6 p.m. or by appointment.  

• For more information, email: WestStreetArt@gmail.com.

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