Athens Artist John McVicker Featured At ARTS/West

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The work of Athens artist John McVicker is being featured at ARTS/West this month, with an opening reception scheduled for this Friday from 6-8 p.m.

Drawing inspiration from Georgia O’Keeffe and Wassily Kandinsky, McVicker’s paintings are both realistic and abstract.

His work has been exhibited in Boston and New York City galleries and featured in collections in Switzerland and France.

“Last year I participated in a group show in Ghent, Belgium, which was a part of the Ghent Jazz Festival,” said McVicker in a press release. “The gallery space was also a performance space, and I was fascinated by the way in which music and images worked together to create a very special ambience.”

Since returning from the Belgium trip, McVicker has concentrated on abstracts with the goal of trying to capture some of the dynamism, symmetry and fun of a live musical performance.

“One starting point for these paintings has been artists like Kandinsky, Miro and Stuart Davis, artists whose work of a century ago continues to delight and inspire me.”

Inspiration has also come from McVicker’s longtime friend John Zorn, the noted avant-garde composer, musician and arranger. The pair met at Webster College (now Webster University) in the 1970s and bonded over music.

Through Zorn, McVicker’s work was displayed at the Cavin Morris Gallery in New York City and in the Belgium show.

“Mr. Zorn helped to organize the Ghent show and was one of the performers at the gallery. His music blows my mind,” said McVicker.

McVicker’s love of music continues to influence his work, including the paintings on display at ARTS/West.

“In these paintings, I’ve tried to create little aquariums of color and motion,” he explained. “I hope that when you look at the pictures, you’ll be able to in some way feel the music that I’ve tried to put into them.”

Friday’s reception, which is free of charge and open to the public, will include music from Andrew Lampela. For more information about ARTS/West, visit