The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


February 28, 2013

Display looks at what prompted artist's interest

Art re-examined through the lens of childhood.

“Saturday Morning Revisited,” by Ebensburg artist Brian Dumm, will be on display March 8-31 at Community Arts Center of Cambria County, 1217 Menoher Blvd., Westmont.

An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. March 8.

Dumm is an artist, illustrator and art educator who studied art at Columbus College of Art and Design, Penn State and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

He has taught art in the Central Cambria School District for the past 11 years.

While growing up, Dumm turned to the closest examples of artwork he could find for inspiration.

He fell in love with the visual arts through Saturday morning cartoons on a black-and-white television set, Sunday newspaper comic strips and newsstand comic books.

“Years later, love has evolved into passion and, at times, obsession,” Dumm said.

“I spent years being trained in more traditional techniques, where I learned a great deal of respect for all things visual. More often than not, I end up back where I started, calling upon those early references for stylistic inspiration.”

Dumm believes he has misunderstood the lack of acceptance that sometimes exists between the fine art and the commercial art worlds.

In the art world, the question, “What is art?” is debated, followed by the question, “What is not art?”

“Conversations on the matter have left me, at times, amused, enlightened, angered and confused,” Dumm said.

He has realized that the perception of art is subject to the viewer and the context the viewer brings to the practice of looking.

“I’m interested in concepts that implicate drawing as a verb, but also appreciate the point when the artist removes his hand from the process and places the viewer in control,” Dumm said.

“In turn, I ask the viewer to consider not only the narrative but also the artist’s mark and the context of the medium.”

Dumm believes his goal as an artist is to walk the line between the worlds of fine and commercial art, seeking to clarify what the art community accepts in each.

“I want to better understand where my own artwork fits within those defined boundaries, and then to smash as many of those boundaries as possible, challenging definitions and prompting new questions about what art is,” he said.

Dumm also is a practicing professional illustrator represented by Portfolio Solutions LLC in New York.

He is a member of Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators and Allied Artists of Johnstown.

Dumm has presented at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development national conference in Chicago on the topic of art education.

His work has been shown in galleries throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio, and his illustrations have been published worldwide.

Dumm authored “Piper the Elf Trains Santa,” which was named a Mom’s Choice Award winner for best children’s picture book in 2012.

If you go ...

What: “Saturday Morning Revisited” by Ebensburg artist Brian Dumm.

Where: Community Arts Center of Cambria County, 1217 Menoher Blvd., Westmont.

When: March 8-31.

Information: 255-6515.


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