UM staffer expresses 'soul, seasons' in abstract art

Cory Walsh

Jace Whitaker welcomes all reactions, even visceral ones, to his paintings, which aren’t loaded with messages of any kind, just a spectrum of emotions conveyed through color and line.

“I just want people to feel how they feel,” he said.

Whitaker’s style is abstract expressionist in the tradition of Jackson Pollock. The canvases are covered corner to corner with paint — flung and dripped. The largest is roughly 12 feet long and 4.5 feet high.

About a decade ago, enthralled by the mid-century avant-garde style, he began experimenting in the “controlled chaos” on his own.

The culminating solo exhibition, “Drippings of the Soul and Seasons,” at the University Center Gallery at the University of Montana, wasn’t initially supposed to open this early.

The plan changed on the fly, with a reception on Friday, Jan. 7, from 3-5 p.m., and it will stay on view through the end of the month. Whitaker and gallery director Amanda Barr hustled to show it earlier than originally planned because he would be away on a short-term deployment to Greece. (He now thinks it probably won’t happen.)

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