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RedBird Art in the Eye of the Beholder

Friday, November 6, 2020

– by RedBird Art Studio Coordinator, Michele Fanfair-Steury
Austin is a prolific RedBird artist whose style is reminiscent of Jackson Pollack.

I was recently watching an old episode of Monk – okay you got me, I was binge watching old episodes of Monk.  In one episode, the quirky detective decides he needs a hobby and thinks that painting will be perfect for him.

He’s seen struggling to put paint on canvas, while his assistant patiently encourages him to just put paint on the brush and put it on the canvas!  Finally Monk paints a yellow oval. He says it looks nothing like the banana on the table and moves to toss it in the trash. But his assistant says no, it looks just like a flat banana and she pounds the table, smashing the banana flat. Later, an art collector shows up and proceeds to pay Monk $300 for his flat banana painting stating, Art is how you see it.

A beholder is an observer: someone who gains awareness of things through the senses, especially sight. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then the person who is observing gets to decide what is beautiful.
How Art Can Change Us

Have you ever asked yourself how you see the art around you? How it affects you? Your outlook? Your approach to life? Tahnee, the mother of RedBird artist, Austin, has this to say when asked how seeing and experiencing her son’s art has impacted her:

Since Austin came to Cardinal Services and began painting, I have learned that so many things are possible for him which were not possible prior to his exposure to art in the RedBird.

I have discovered that Austin is able to express himself in ways I never thought possible and that he has so much to say despite not being able to speak with words.  He speaks to me in each piece he creates and his voice is a very loud and joyful noise through art!

Tahnee West, Austin’s Mother

At RedBird we have learned to truly behold the art we are looking at and go beyond simple initial perceptions to ask about choice of color, the muse, the size, the texture, and depth, . . . because all of these are part of the conversation between us and the artist.

Austin poses with one of his creations on display and for sale at Reinholt’s Town Square Furniture in Warsaw.
About Austin and His Art

Austin is an artist in the RedBird Art Studio.  His work is reminiscent of Jackson Pollock and the abstract expressionist movement.  Like Pollock, Austin enjoys splattering paint in all directions on his canvas.  He begins all of his work in a red base, and then works in other color choices that make each of his works an individual masterpiece.  We’ve actually given Austin his own verb, Austinized, meaning don’t stand too close or you will become a part of Austin’s canvas!

Austin’s work can be seen on exhibit and for sale at:

  • Reinholt’s Town Square Furniture
  • Wagon Wheel Theater
  • Oakwood Resort
  • Kimiko Academy of Dance
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce
  • Cardinal Services, Inc.

To learn more about RedBird Art Studio, Austin and other artists, like us on Facebook!

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