Girard Exhibits Art Across Country

by Chloe Barrett

Professor of art Jack Girard is a busy man this semester – not only is his time filled with teaching studio art at Transylvania and chairing the fine arts department, but he’s also managed to find time to prepare for four upcoming art exhibits. In September, he was a return artist to the Alexandria Museum of Art in Louisiana. He contributed two collage/mixed media pieces to the annual exhibition showcasing around 100-200 pieces of contemporary American art.

Girard's work has been featured in over 300 exhibitions around the world.For those students who haven’t had an art class yet, it’s sometimes hard to find excuses to mosey over to the Shearer Studio Art building and get to know the professors tucked away in that corner of Transy. A new Transylvania student may be surprised to find Girard’s work has been featured in over 300 exhibitions and is represented in a variety of collections across the country and overseas.

Girard received both his BFA and MFA in painting from East Carolina University. His minor studies included ceramics for his bachelor’s degree and drawing for his master’s degree. He has been a member of the College Art Association since 2003 and in 2005 joined the Lexington Art League. Girard has won numerous awards and grants, and was featured in “Who’s Who among American Art” and “Who’s Who Among American Teachers.”

This October, an exhibit at the Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, South Carolina, will display the work of contemporary artists with South Carolina ties. The exhibition will include a mixed-media drawing by Girard from the state’s permanent art collection. “Shorelines,” an exhibition of coastal art at the Rockport Center for the Arts in Texas, will incorporate a collage/mixed media work of his into its October show. A collaborative exhibit pairing Girard with Lexington artist Lawrence Tarpey will be displayed in the 1909 Logsdon Gallery in Chicago from Oct. 9 to Nov 7. The combined drawings will include 18 of Girard’s new works.

Lexington will also have its opportunity to experience the work of our resident artist in November when the Morlan Gallery houses an exhibition solely of Girard’s art. “Retributions” is a collection of new and recent paintings, drawings and sculptures that “pay homage to perseverance.”

Girard is inspired by his personal encounters with subjects ranging from human aging, sex/race discrimination and politics to literature and archaeology. An eight-panel work, inspired by a recent trip to Saint Brigid’s Well in Ireland, is the centerpiece for his exhibit. In his 2009 artist statement, Girard says he works from his own experience, and “measures success on the basis of what is true to those recollections.” He also states that he prefers to use a 30 inch by 40 inch format because it “echoes pages from a journal.”

These works are inspired by an underlying uniformity in the tokens adorning the monument, to time showcased in layers of gifts to the saint. The ironic history of Saint Brigid is also captured as part of the experience – his fictional character was borrowed by the Catholic from a Celtic deity for the purpose of converting Celts to Christianity.

His Morlan Gallery exhibit is under the working title “Elections, Floods, and Wishing Wells” as a suggestion to the underlying themes in his pieces. A collection of approximately 30 works will run from November to December. In addition to the exhibit, Girard will give a public lecture on Nov. 5 from 12:30-1:20 p.m.


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