November 12, 2017
Artist discovers ‘Sounds of Silence’ in new watercolor show
Las Vegas Review Journal, 11/11/2017
Carol Cling

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Artist discovers ‘Sounds of Silence’ in new watercolor show
Las Vegas Review Journal, 11/11/2017
Carol Cling

Artist Tim Bavington has learned two things in three years of teaching at UNLV. First, “I’m surprised by how much I love it,” he admits. Especially because “I spent 25 years studiously avoiding teaching.”
The second thing he learned: how much he enjoys painting watercolors.

“I was teaching it, and it occurred to me, ‘Why don’t I do this?’ ” Bavington says. So he did. The result: “Sounds of Silence,” an exhibit of new watercolors at MCQ Fine Art through Jan. 5.

Only Bavington’s second gallery show in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas, “Sounds of Silence” finds the England native returning to his trademark method and style: translating elements of popular songs into geometric stripes. (It’s the same approach Bavington used to create “Pipe Dream,” his Symphony Park sculpture inspired by Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.”)

In the past, Bavington usually created his canvases by spraying them with acrylic paint, giving them a bright, hard-edged look. (He’s also done pastel drawings.) The new “Sounds of Silence” works, by contrast, display an “irregularity in line and texture,” resulting in a “much more painterly, much more loose” approach, according to MCQ Fine Art’s Michele Quinn. “This is Tim going, ‘don’t worry about where the lines go.’ ”

For Bavington, “I love the liquidity of the watercolors,” he says, citing “the delicacy and transparency” of the new works.

“It’s a different kind of freedom — that’s why I like it,” he explains. “To use brushes again is just wonderful. It’s invigorating and it’s inspiring, to discover something new.” Despite the different medium, certain things remain the same in Bavington’s work. “Not everybody can handle this much color in a work and get away with it,” Quinn says, pointing out the “irregularity in line and texture” that characterize the “Sounds of Silence” paintings.

As always, Bavington’s works are named after the musical works they’re based on, from the George Harrison-inspired “Give Me Love,” “Give Me Peace” and “My Guitar” (as in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”) to the Carter Family’s “Wildwood Flower.” In choosing songs for artistic interpretation, “I pick songs I like,” Bavington explains, describing it as “a Warholian or pop art approach. I like how the title evokes a reaction and response in viewers.”

Bavington’s been following the music-inspired methodology for 15 years, building a national and international reputation with works that are now in numerous museum collections (including New York’s Museum of Modern Art) and featured in galleries from coast to coast. For “Tone Poems,” Bavington’s recently concluded solo show at New York’s Morgan Lehman gallery, he used songs with single colors in them, such as Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” Bavington “can always find inspiration in music,” he says. In that, however, he says he’s no different than anyone else, noting how others’ “lives are constantly influenced by music. I just happen to be a painter.”

Bavington reflects on memorial commission
It’s not the kind of commission Tim Bavington ever contemplated — or wanted. But when organizers of a “Vegas Cares” benefit concert approached the artist about creating a public memorial for victims and first responders following the Oct. 1 shooting on the Strip, Bavington agreed to do exactly that.

“I don’t know how I could say no,” he comments. “It’s an honor” and “an incredible thing to be asked to do.”
Although “you don’t want to have to contemplate even doing it in the first place,” Bavington says, “art does have the power to bring healing and catharsis.”

The Nov. 5 “Vegas Cares” benefit concert at The Venetian raised more than $100,000 for the project. Performers included Jewel, whose song “Mercy” will serve as Bavington’s inspiration for the memorial, which the artist expects to be “something different” than his “Pipe Dream” sculpture in Symphony Park.

As for those who question raising money for a public memorial in the first place, “there are memorials that mark every tragedy,” Bavington points out. (He’s donating his time; the funds raised will go toward materials for the sculpture.)

“I think the cause is absolutely worthy. A memorial would be an important thing,” he says. Besides, “I like to stay out of the politics. I’m an artist. If I get asked to make some art … I don’t get into why.”

Bavington reflects on memorial commission

It’s not the kind of commission Tim Bavington ever contemplated — or wanted. But when organizers of a “Vegas Cares” benefit concert approached the artist about creating a public memorial for victims and first responders following the Oct. 1 shooting on the Strip, Bavington agreed to do exactly that.

“I don’t know how I could say no,” he comments. “It’s an honor” and “an incredible thing to be asked to do.”

Although “you don’t want to have to contemplate even doing it in the first place,” Bavington says, “art does have the power to bring healing and catharsis.”

The Nov. 5 “Vegas Cares” benefit concert at The Venetian raised more than $100,000 for the project; performers included Jewel, whose song “Mercy” will serve as Bavington’s inspiration for the memorial, which the artist expects to be “something different” than his “Pipe Dream” sculpture in Symphony Park.

As for those who question raising money for a public memorial in the first place, “there are memorials that mark every tragedy,” Bavington points out. (He’s donating his time; the funds raised will go toward materials for the sculpture.)

“I think the cause is absolutely worthy. A memorial would be an important thing,” he says. Besides, “I like to stay out of the politics. I’m an artist. If I get asked to make some art … I don’t get into why.”

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March 16, 2019
January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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