PORT TOWNSEND — “Familiar Things” throws a spotlight on paintings by Max Grover and Larry Crockett at the Port Townsend School of the Arts Grover Gallery.
The show at 236 Taylor St. opened Thursday and runs through the end of the month. The hours at the gallery, which is named for Grover, are from noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Work also can be viewed online at PtArts.org.
Grover, a Port Townsend icon, often hangs out with fellow artists and townsfolk in the local coffee shops, said Meg Kaczyk, communications manager for the Port Townsend School of the Arts (PtSA).
“His vibrant work graces Sunrise Coffee Company identity — from packaging to signage to a giant dog sculpture — and together with his late wife Sherry Grover, he has inspired a generation of practicing artists in the region by the founding of Port Townsend School of the Arts, Art Sparks and personal teaching and mentoring of emerging artists,” she added.
Grover, who also has illustrated children’s books, has been called “the maestro of serious play,” Kaczyk said.
Said Grover: “In my latest work, I combine photographic prints, acrylic painting and pieces from my incredible ephemera collection to reflect the world in a unique way. It’s the colorful, fun and familiar presented in new conceptual compositions.”
Crockett is an emerging artist who came to art making after a career in the military and in public administration. Teresa Verraes, an old friend and now executive director of PtSA, encouraged him to sign up for a beginning drawing class taught by Nonie Gaines, Kaczck said. He did. And then he advanced to her intermediate class.
Crockett said it was an awakening he’s been seeking for 47 years, she said.
“The pleasure of drawing got me going again,” she quotes him as saying.
He has been mentored by Grover and guided by teaching artist Julie Reed, among others, Kaczyk said.
“I am excited to have been invited to have my first show at Grover Gallery,” Crockett said. “Sharing the show with Max Grover is an additional bonus, since he has been so helpful in sharing his experience with me.”
Crockett primarily works with acrylic paint.
“My subject matter tends to be those things we find in our everyday life and are familiar. Iconic labels, food, flowers, animals — all have potential for a future painting.”