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Opening reception for Andrew Criss exhibit set at Gallery 50 Nov. 4

November 1, 2017

Gallery 50 in Rehoboth Beach will host an opening reception for an exhibit of the latest collection of paintings by Andrew Criss from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4. The exhibition will run through Friday, Nov. 17.

For more than 17 years, Criss, born in 1969, has painted landscapes in the American Impressionist tradition. His small canvases and panels most commonly depict images from his beloved coastal home, including beach scenes, woods and farmland.

Criss' oil paintings, however, are anything but sentimental postcard images. Devoid of figures, the boldly brushed landscapes celebrate the glory of nature while aching with melancholy and quiet loneliness. The works in this collection, Criss' first formal exhibition since 2009, are a way of surrendering to nature and reliving the spiritual experience of time spent alone in a world devoid of people and distraction. It is a chance to return to the self by paying attention to the world outside oneself.

"In 2010, I decided to take a break from full-time painting and exhibiting, and pursue my interest in acting, which had been dormant since my post-college years. This reinvention did me a great deal of good. I've been able to earn my Actors Equity Card and work professionally in the theatre and television, making a (modest) living acting and doing voiceovers, but more importantly, I've been challenged as an artist, forced to adapt to a new world of creative processes, equally stimulating, but very different from my role as a painter. I learned - a lot. Being on stage requires having faith that everything will work out. Improvisation is necessary for survival, and enjoyment of the process is the best ingredient for success. If you're not having a great time, the audience will know it. If you are, they will, too. Most important, I learned art is best made not with the intention of getting love, but giving it.

“One afternoon in early spring, on a bike ride home, I realized I was ready to paint again, and able to apply what I had learned. When I got to my studio, I found myself working with an enthusiasm that matched my younger self, but with a confidence and trust that has only come with age. Best of all, I was truly enjoying working and playing. It was like coming home,” said Criss.

Andrew Criss worked in Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C., in the 1990s as an illustrator and art director. In 1999, he relocated to Rehoboth Beach to open a studio and pursue the goal of painting full time. He has been based in Rehoboth since that time. He has exhibited in galleries in Delaware, Pennsylvania and  Washington, D.C., and has earned numerous awards, including a Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship.

Gallery 50 is at 50 Wilmington Ave. in downtown Rehoboth Beach next door to Henlopen City Oyster House. For more information, call 302-227-2050, email ed@gallery50art.comn or go to www.gallery50art.com.

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