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Monday, November 24, 2014
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"Sisters/Talk" by Chuck Siler

Artist opens Black Hertitage Gallery exhibit Friday

Last Modified: Thursday, July 31, 2014 3:04 PM

By Alex Onken / American Press

The Black Heritage Gallery will host an opening reception for artist Charles “Chuck” Siler at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8.

The show, which is untitled, features a variety of works.

“It’s sort of an amalgam of things. I’m mixing a few old pieces in. I tend to like to do that so I can show a full range,” Siler said.

“I’m not doing any serious cartoons in it. I didn’t have a theme in mind. The only thing I could have called it was ‘Just Me.’ ”

Siler, originally from Baton Rouge, lives in Carrollton, Texas. He moved to Texas after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, where he was living and working for the Louisiana State Museum.

For the last eight years, Siler has worked as a political cartoonist for the Louisiana Weekly and a few online publications, and he has conducted a monthly workshop for young artists in Carrollton.

Previously, Siler worked in film, television and radio.

Siler had his work shown at the Black Heritage Gallery in 2006. He says it was a challenge to choose from his work for this show, and that he originally planned to show 23 to 25 paintings and cartoons.

“I don’t have what I call a ‘style’ actually. If I need to do something realistic, I just need to slow down and work it,” he said.

“I’ve had some pieces that have taken almost a year and longer to do.”

Siler has series of paintings that span almost half a century, and he describes his style of painting as his own.

“I’m not locked into a single direction. I’ve done portraits. I can do things like that to illustrate to folk,” he said. “If you walk into an all-abstract show, people make judgments about the artist. I like to shut that idea down.”

In painting, he enjoys water-based media such as tempera and watercolors and acrylics, which often he mixes while painting. His paintings can take 30 seconds to years to finish.

“A piece takes as long as it takes,” he said.

In his spare time, Siler enjoys making his own music, though he does not call himself a musician. He also enjoys writing and reading. All these different elements, he said, go into his work as a painter.

“I am a person who feels that all of the art is interconnected. I played just enough percussion to be able to keep a beat,” he said. “I write, I draw and I usually have a pretty decent singing voice. All of those things inspire me to create. So it could be a piece of music or a piece I can read.”

The Black Heritage Gallery is in the Central School Arts and Humanities Center, at 809 Kirby St. For more information visit: www.bhflc.org.

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