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toy tableaux painting aaron pickens

Diane Kidd Gallery to Host “Toy Tableaux”, Paintings by Aaron Pickens

Tiffin University’s Diane Kidd Gallery will host Toy Tableaux,” an exhibition of paintings by Aaron Pickens. The exhibit will run now through November 19, 2021. An opening reception will be held Friday, October 22 at 5 to 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served, and the public is welcome.

Aaron Pickens received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Arts from Bowling Green State University and his Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Aaron currently resides in Kokomo, Indiana and is an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts and New Media at Indiana University Kokomo. With a background in both digital and traditional media, Pickens’ two main bodies of artwork comprise toy tableaux still life and alla prima plein air oil paintings, both of which have been accepted into juried exhibitions throughout the United States, notably the Surreal Salon 10 in Baton Rouge, LA juried by Ron English and both the 79th and 81st Midyear Juried Show at the Butler Institute for American Art.

The “Toy Tableaux” exhibition features bright, whimsical, meticulously composed and deeply symbolic still life paintings that interpret the creative act of child’s play. Aaron states, “Toys have been central to my visual vocabulary as a painter – they can be transformed to comment on a wide range of issues using both metaphor and allegory. The familiar imagery is utilized to entice the viewer to look beyond the lighthearted veneer and acknowledge the often-weighty concept that informed each painting.” Pickens begins each painting by assembling a still life in a child-like manner with objects associated with playtime. Each arrangement is governed by a simple interest in color and form, as well as the narrative or concept he wishes to address.

Pickens says, “The act of play was a catalyst for me to pursue the arts and instilled in me an enthusiasm that has consistently fueled my work to this day.”

For more information about this exhibition or the subject matter, email Joseph

Van Kerkhove at