Salon hosts baseball art show

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Large portraits of famous players, paintings of sports action and other baseball-themed works grace the walls of Cuttn’ It Loose Salon during the “Boys of Summer” art show.

There isn’t much to see looking through the salon’s windows but, going through the door, there is art about baseball just about everywhere. There is a statue of a baseball player just inside the door, a Cracker Jack vendor nearby, and the walls are graced by about 40 works by 11 local artists.

Artists with works on display include Thomas Harding, Clyde Steadman, Michael Rieger, Robert Platz, Ian McKown, Eric Matelski, Greg Marquez, Kelli Jimerson, Patrick Gerace, Dan Erickson and Kyle Banister.

Works are varied and include an impressionist piece by a tattoo artist, a painting of a father and son meeting Red Sox star Ted Williams and a painting of a young catcher behind the plate.

“We have a lot of wall space and artist Kyle Banister suggested we put up some art, so we held our first art show a couple months ago. People seemed to like it so now our plans are to have a new show every two months,” said Rosemarie Cabral, salon co-owner. “This show is about baseball and the artworks will be up through the end of June. Then we plan to open the next show in early July that will focus on the Dog Days of Summer.”

Several of the most dominant pieces are the large portraits of famous players created in chalk by Patrick Gerace.

“Venturing into this medium to do works on these subjects is a first for me,” the artist said. “I am a commercial artist. That work demands focus to detail and it could take 100 hours of work to complete a piece. I saw friends like Kyle Banister doing chalk art. I marveled at how quickly they completed a piece so I decided to try it.”

He said he never saw a professional baseball game at any level until about five years ago, when he joined friends at a Rockies game.

“The game was fun to watch and I became a baseball fan,” he said. “When my friend Kyle urged me to do works for this show, I decided to try it. I looked up a player’s baseball card online and used it as a guide to do the large-size drawing in chalk on plywood. I found the work went quickly and I just spent two to four hours per drawing.”

He said he discovered when the chalk art was done and he sprayed the piece with a coating to protect the surface from smearing, the spray tended to sort of melt the chalk and give the art work a warmer look while allowing the grain of the plywood to show through. He said he was pleased the impact was to give the artwork the appearance of an aging, well-used baseball card.

He completed the half-dozen larger-than-life portraits resembling the baseball cards of famous players like Jackie Robinson and Roger Maris.

“This is the first time I have displayed the drawings and I really didn’t know how the works would be accepted,” Gerace said. “So far, people seem to like what they see and I am pleased to get the good feedback. I might even do some more of them.”