Press Release for October 4, 2012
Wichita Artist Lee Shiney Is Finding Painting Inspiration In Visits To All 105 Kansas Counties.
Full-time abstract artist Lee Shiney loves the Kansas landscape, so he is traveling to every county for his latest art project. His ongoing “105 Horizons” painting series is based on his rural Kansas roots and also what he sees in his Kansas travels.
(October 4, 2012 – Kechi, Kansas)
Lee Shiney is a full time abstract painter and kinetic sculptor who lives and works just outside of Wichita in Kechi, Kansas. His latest ongoing art project is “105 Horizons” and is based on experiencing and documenting the horizon in every Kansas county, then returning to the studio to paint the views based on his visits. As an artist, it is his way of quietly reconnecting with his past. “My wife and I grew up in rural Iowa and Kansas respectively, and we felt the need to slow down and block out some of the noise of everyday life. Yes, even in Kansas, beauty is all around us, and the goal was to begin to look for the things that had really shaped our early lives. Reconnecting with our rural pasts in this way was an appropriate way to begin to see what we had allowed to slip away.”
His large, abstract paintings have been seen in places like the Wichita Art Museum, Greensburg’s new 5.4.7 Art Center, Wichita CityArts, and Newman University. Now, some of the brand new work is on display at The Gallery at ARTWORKS in Wichita and The Gallery at Pioneer Bluffs in Matfield Green, Kansas. The work often features concentric circles and heavily textured paint that is gouged with tools while wet, but the viewer may not know that the processes are often inspired by his rural Kansas background. He says countless hours of tractor and combine driving, “going around and around with plenty of time to think,” gave him the opportunity to let his mind wander and develop creative concepts.
“It’s very important that I don’t view this as a bucket list or a contest with a deadline. This is our way of removing ourselves from some of the constant noise and insanity of life, and savoring quiet moments in an environment that has meant a lot to us in the past. As an artist, I want to quietly wait while the visual details of a scene make themselves known, so this really becomes spiritual in nature. A spiritual connection implies we have a one-on-one relationship, so for me that means letting this process unfold in its own time and speak to me directly. These new works have the feel of landscapes, but like our own pasts that gets abstracted with the passage of time, they are really abstracts that are inspired by the visits.”
Beyond making paintings of every county, and sometimes multiple works from multiple trips, Lee Shiney will be sharing his writings and photos on his website blog at leeshiney.com, and plans to develop a line of art cards based on his paintings. It is an open-ended, lifelong project designed to capture some of the essence of everyday Kansas views that often get taken for granted, a project that will ultimately promote Kansas as well.
About Lee Shiney: Lee Shiney is a full-time painter, kinetic sculptor, photographer, and mixed media artist living and working in Kechi, Kansas. He divides his time between solo and group shows in the midwest, and commission work for patrons.
The 105 Horizons project is sponsored in part by:
Lawrence Photo, Wichita, KS
Happy Shirt Printing Co., Lawrence, KS
120 E. Kodiak St.
Kechi, KS 67067
The Gallery at ARTWORKS
7724 East Central, Ste. 300
Wichita, KS 67206
The Gallery at Pioneer Bluffs
695 Highway 177
Matfield Green, KS 66862