2021 Artist of the Year
Artist Of The Year - Exhibited Jan. 5 to Feb. 5, 2022
Opening reception Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, 5-7:30 PM
Norman Bean was raised and educated in West Texas. During his school years his parents made it a point to place him in front of various teachers and professors of art and music. He has always depicted his surroundings in various ways in music, drawings and paintings. Exploring artistic ideas, honing talents and learning lessons, he gave his completed works as gifts to friends and family, seeing who actually hung it on their walls.
In 1971, after four summers of Art Camps with the El Paso Museum of Art and two years at UTEP he escaped parental captivity. He then wandered Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia, finally migrating back to Texas in 1980. In Austin he focused on making a living practicing the exacting art form of building and restoring custom and antique motorcycles. In his spare time he promoted music events, creating artistic flyers and posters.
The pivotal artistic moment came during a 2008 trip to Italy with the Texas State University's Study Abroad Program. Norman's eyes were opened to graphite on paper as a fine art medium. During that trip he realized there is a direct link between human history and art. Studying Greek, Roman, Italian Renaissance and modern art inspired Norman to begin creating his art in a new way, exploring graphite techniques and historic subject matter. Applying Wassily Kandinsky's Point and Line to Plane brought abstract principles to objective realism, creating the dramatic perspectives and unusual viewpoints that give Norman’s art a photo surrealistic ambiance.
Norman's recent drawings record little details of his experience of human industry and history; interpreting, transforming and wondering why.