The featured artist/presenter will be John Tarka, showing and discussing his past paintings that are tributes to local sports stars and his more recent ones, which are abstract. His background is in aerosol and stencil art.
John recently relocated from Pittsburgh, where his large scale tribute paintings made with stencils and mixed media were in three solo shows. His focus has shifted from aerosol based designs and portraits to more textured, abstract formations, which are a study of layers and depth, texture and a false surface. They include the use of color, gloss and mixed media. His focus has also shifted from iconic urban imagery to an abstract layered design, which he hopes draws the eye in with grit and texture, while providing the viewer with a high gloss, smooth-as-porcelain finish. Tarka encourages the viewer to not only see but to touch his work.
John is a teacher in New Haven in an alternative school for students who have behavior problems, criminal records and have been expelled from their previous school. He uses his artwork to help teach, engage the students and show them that art can be a therapuetic tool. He has no formal art training, but sees his artwork as proof that anyone can be creative. He considers his work a reflection of his life.