According to the award-winning “contemporary narrative painter” Skip Rohde, the inspiration for the paintings in his “Meditation on War” show, now on exhibit at the Madison County Arts Council in Marshall, came from his experiences with combat and military life. “Some are based on things I saw in Bosnia as part of the peacekeeping forces,” he is quoted as saying. Others are based on experiences in his personal life, and on “reflections on our society’s idea of war.”
Arts Council Executive Director Rodney Bowling, who admits he “wasn’t sure about this particular show,” says that “Meditation on War” has been popular since the larger-than-expected attendance at opening night, and he has heard “nothing but positive comments.” Bowling credits Program Director Delia Fantava for arranging and hanging the popular exhibit, which offers viewers an opportunity to meditate on the paintings and also provides votive candles that attendees can light and place in front of individual paintings that particularly move them. And for the opening, Bowling notes, the subject of Rohde’s “Warrior” painting (see illustration) was in attendance. “It was very moving,” says Bowling. “He was very open, and was here quite some time.”
Bowling calls the show “very thought-provoking,” and notes that some folks have come back more than once to experience it again. The exhibit is open through Feb. 22 at the center, 90 S. Main St. in downtown Marshall. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment. Visit www.skiprohde.com for more information about Rohdes and his art.