Willie Bonner, recent paintings
Presented by the art department of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona in Tucson
Aug. 10-Oct. 5
8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Arizona Gallery, second floor, Memorial Student Union, UA Campus -- on the north side of the Mall east of Old Main
A reception for Willie Bonner will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Sponsored by African American Student Affairs and the Martin Luther King Student Center. For more information contact Alex Wright at 621-8419.
CONTACT: Chrissy Lieberman, 520-621-6142
Willie Bonner creates colorful, gestured canvases that make powerful references to his African-American heritage and the challenges faced by a young man of color. His canvases, often augmented by photo-transfers from newspapers revealing documentation of the inhuman treatment of African Americans throughout history, are alive with energy through the use of brilliant reds, blues and yellows and a generous application of heavy black paint. Often Bonner paints on found wood strips, further enhancing the raw feeling of the street and the conscious attempt to make his work accessible in contrast to the precious qualities often attributed to high art.
Bonner is a graduate student in the painting program in the UA art department. In 1979 he received a Bachelor's of Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art and then went on to pursue a Master's of Fine Arts from Kent State University, transferring to the University of Arizona last year. Since relocating to Arizona, he has been an instructor in the art education department at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Bonner has a vast background in elementary art education and has worked as an art instructor and art therapist at several institutions throughout Ohio.
Bonner has participated in many exhibitions in the Midwest. This will be his first solo exhibition in Arizona. He recently completed a large mural which graces the exterior of the Martin Luther King Building on the University of Arizona campus.