Spring art exhibit will feature artwork created in Paris and Texas

An exhibit titled “Paris – Texas” will be on display in the gallery of the Temple College Visual Arts Complex beginning Jan. 27.

The exhibit will feature paintings, drawings and photographs by Michael Donahue, chair of the Temple College Visual Arts Department. Donahue says the exhibit will offer viewers a contrasting view of two quite different worlds − Paris, France and Belton, Texas.

In 2017, Donahue received a Professional Development Leave Grant that allowed him to spend four months in Paris, France. In addition to photographing artwork in major museums that could be used for teaching classes at Temple College, Donahue used the time to do his own painting. Other works in the show were created in his studio in Belton.

“The beauty of living in a new place with different customs is that you become more sensitized and aware of your environment and those differences in life and culture,” Donahue says. “I have tried to paint, photograph and draw some of those refreshing experiences. Of course, returning to Texas reopens your vision to your familiar surroundings with fresh eyes and new perspectives.”

artwork by Michael DonahueDonahue describes himself as a “narrative” painter, whose works communicate stories and personal experiences he wants to share.

“One intention of art is to connect with others through such experiences,” Donahue says. “Other intentions can be to provoke people to think about social issues, religion, death, everyday life and beauty. The images in this show are meant to do just that.”

Donahue has been chair of the Temple College Visual Arts Department since 1979. He spends his summers as a park ranger/historian at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana – an experience he says has allowed him to hone his skills as a storyteller. Donahue has published numerous articles about the Battle of Little Bighorn, as well as a book titled “Drawing Battle Lines – The Map Testimony of Custer’s Last Fight,” which was published in 2007. He has another book coming out this year titled “Where the Rivers Ran Red – The Indian Fights of George A. Custer.”

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held Saturday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through April 5.

The Temple College Visual Arts Complex is located at 2105 South 5th St. in Temple. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday or by appointment.