This Wednesday, the Community Arts Centerâ€™s artist in residence Mark Wilhelm takes center stage to talk about his evolution as an artist at Lunch with the Arts.
As may be apparent from his subtitle â€œSwab the Titanic: How to Ride out the Decline in Styleâ€- and from his works, Mark has a different style and attitude than most working artists, and he embraces the seemingly absurd. His art often takes two opposite or unrelated topics and melds them together in a humorous or thought-provoking way.
From jockeys riding unicorns to rabbits playing dulcimers, crabs wearing Campbellâ€™s soup cans to pink skulls with braces, Mark’s work can be found in storefront windows and restaurants around Danville, sparking conversation and prompting head scratches.
â€œMy goal with art is to make people happier after they see it than before,â€ he says. â€œThe basic message is as follows: Is the world a terrible place sometimes? Yes, it is. Does that mean we canâ€™t have fun anyway? No, it doesnâ€™t!â€
A painter, sculptor and digital artist, Wilhelm is also exploring recycled and repurposed art in anticipation of our upcoming blockbuster exhibit, â€œRe,â€ which opens Feb. 5. A cardboard-and-paper fox head is now mounted on a wall at the Beer Engine, and cardboard rhinoceros and horse heads are outside Wilhelmâ€™s studio here at the Arts Center. If you stop by soon, you’ll get to meet a six-foot tall-bear, still a work in progress, made from discarded materials.
Mark’s Lunch with the Arts presentation features slides and examples of his work, a demonstration and a question and answer session. Guests must register online by Monday at 5 p.m. to reserve lunch at the event for $10, or guests may bring their own lunch and pay $5 at the door for the program only. Centre College students get in free by showing their student ID.