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Super heroes, tiny details and hyper-realism mark the latest exhibits at the Gadsden Arts Center

Alex Ross.jpg
Gadsden Arts Center & Museum
Famed comic book illustrator Alex Ross finishing yet another of his incredibly life-like creations.

Fans of comic book art and paintings as real as photographs have lots to love at the Gadsden Arts Center and Museum on Quincy's Courthouse Square.
Center Director Grace Robinson said comic book art has been a "thing" at least since the days of pop art masters like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. But this show at her gallery features the work of an actual comic book artist. The show's called:

"'Marvelocity' and that presents the original work of Alex Ross who is a leading illustrator for comics. But he changes the approach to illustrations for comics. His work is EXTREMELY realistic. So although he's portraying fantastic characters and imaginary scenes, he is working from live models and has an incredible command of composition and anatomy."

And while the Ross exhibit displays hyper-realism in the macro, Robinson said its companion exhibit takes that unreal realism to the micro level.

"The other traveling show is called 'Exquisite Miniatures' and that is by a husband-wife team, Wes and Rachelle Siegrist. And again, the work is just mind-blowing! It's teeny little paintings that are no bigger than 9 square inches. Super-realistic work with way more detail than your eye can perceive and you look at them and say, 'Wow! Check that out!' Then you grab a magnifying glass to look at them and you see way more."

For the Center's Exhibit Curator Angie Barry, both shows are not your typical art gallery fare.

"There's one called 'Standing Guard' and it's by the Siegrists and it's 1x1 inch. And it's this tiny little meerkat's face and he looks so regal, looking up and standing guard. You get the magnifying glass and you see all the teensie, tiny details of his whiskers and fur. You can't even see all that stuff in a photograph half the time. So you have those hyper-realistic animals that the Siegrists are able to capture. And then with Alex Ross, he's capturing this reality that doesn't exist. It's these super heroes that are living in a fantasy existence and environment, but they look so real!"

And Barry said it's not just the formal exhibits that are bringing in the fans.

"I mean, how many museums have a life-sized Hulk on the wall? I don't know. I mean, not many. We've got Hulk and Black Panther on our wall in the lobby so you can be sure to get a good selfie with them. So come on! That alone is worth the drive."

Although Director Robinson pointed out, the cost of admission to the double bill exhibit could be zero.

"Admission is free for all members. It's free for children ages 17 and under. It's free on the first Saturday of every month and free for every Art Zone visitor. However,admission is also free for all super heroes. So if you come to Gadsden Arts dressed as a super hero and you're not a member, you can get in for free. And then you take your selfie with the Hulk, or Black Panther, or whatever other super hero happens to be around and you post those on social media, the person - or super hero - who gets the most likes by the end of the show wins a prize."

Both Marvelocity and the Exquisite Miniatures exhibits will run at the Gadsden Art Center through December 17th.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories. here.