Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Art of Bruce Maybry Lynchburg's hidden talent

On Display Academy of Fine Arts  Copyright Bruce Maybry

I first saw one of Bruce Maybry's works at the Academy of Fine Art in Lynchburg Virginia.  It is in the Gallery on Main Street and if you look to left when you enter you see it on permanent display on the wall by the steps.  A good choice for the Academy.  His work is spectacular. Each of the figures in his work are portraits of real people that are a part of Lynchburg;s history.  He even has a portrait of himself in the lower left corner.

One character that has significant meaning to me is the newspaper carrier.  He has his back to us and was one of the enduring images of early morning Lynchburg and after years of carrying the newspapers one arm was noticeably longer than the other.

Although, many thought he was a poor man it is rumored that he died a millionaire.  Buck Tyree ( There is little on the Internet about Buck) another notable artist from Lynchburg also used the newspaper man as the subject in a beautiful early morning painting of Lynchburg.  I have not seen any of Buck Tyree's work in years, but his images have also left an enduring image in my mind.

And in a sense, Bruce Maybry's inclusion of the paper man is both a tribute to the newspaper man and Buck Tyree.  When I talked with Bruce it was apparent that he has a great appreciation of Buck Tyree.  And other local stars in the Lynchburg Art world.
An example of Bruce Maybry;s early work
 Bruce has said to me one of his greatest influences is from the work of  David Heath.  David Heath both a photographer and a master of oils had found the mastery of light which is well exhibited in his paintings.  Bruce said he tried to emulate David Heath, because he loves his work.  His early work shows that influence and he felt his effort just did not meet his expectations.  Personally, I really like Bruce Maybry's early work and when I had the opportunity to buy  a signed print of Batteau Landing I was ecstatic.

His departure from his earlier style to the more vibrant presents a journey into the spirit.  Each of Bruce's new works exhibit strong feelings of exuberance that can be directly transmitted from his work to the viewer.  He depicts scenes of Lynchburg in a joyful manner filled with people in celebration.  He also has a large body of Religious Art and his use of light  shows influence from the works of David Heath, although the subject matter is completely different.

While I sat with Bruce, he pulled out a portfolio of work from Steve Coates.  Steve is the co-owner of Montana Plains Bakery and a very gifted film photographer.   Steve's work is portrait based in a photo journalistic style his photos always shows that emotional impact of character.  Though, we did not discuss Steve at length I can see a glimmer in Bruce's eye.  And know Steve has an influence also in the beautiful works of Bruce Maybry.

I soon expect to see Bruce Maybry's work evolve in a new style.  He is a talent in Lynchburg that should not be overlooked.  

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