University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
November 11, 2010
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6360

Georgia Artist Michael Gillies Donates Pieces to USA Library

Kenny Sylvester and grandson, Brian

Macon, Ga.-based artist Michael Thomas Gillies has donated five pieces of art to the University of South Alabama Library. His work was displayed at the library earlier this year in a show at the Third Floor Gallery.

Most of Gillies' works are considered inscapes, a derivative of internal renderings inspired by nature. The weather, mood, time of day, visualization of color, and natural environment all play a role in this form of art making. While inspired by his surroundings, it is the intuitive relationship of mark making that interests Gillies.

Many of these works are manipulated in the studio using a varied palette of exaggerated color which may in some instances dominate the space. Gillies works primarily with mixed media, using watercolor, tempera paint, and dye interchangeably with dry media. The dry media often acts to define areas of abstract color found in the wet media.

Conceptually, the artwork is derived from nature with glimpses of imaginative color intertwined, and rendered to suggest an intuitive or dreamlike existence. While formal aspects of the landscape are present, it is the instinctive marks that give form to the environment.

In his artwork, Gillies said, "I am inspired by the beauty of God's nature which is all around us. Many of my works in the series deal with my internal interpretations of our natural environment."

Before an exhibit of his work on campus this summer, Gillies toured the library with Dr. Richard Wood, dean of University Libraries. Gillies said the tour inspired him to donate his pieces to the Library's permanent collection.

"I wanted to be a part of that visual experience," Gillies said. "I know the paintings are in good hands and can be enjoyed by many people in the University community."

Wood said, "We are very grateful for Michael's gift of his five framed 'Inscapes' and have given them prominence in the University Library by hanging them in the vicinity of the circulation desk in the center of the lobby for every visitor to see. His works add yet another dimension to the works of art in the University Library's permanent art collection."


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