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Texas Wesleyan professor Curtin’s art on display at Law Sone Center April 14-26

04.13.2015 | By: Texas Wesleyan University

Theatre Wesleyan is pleased to host the art exhibit Memories and Moments in Time by Aileen Curtin, Ph.D., professor of education.

The original paintings will be on display in the C. E. Hyde Gallery in the Law Sone Fine Arts Center from April 14-26. Gallery hours are 1:30-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.

All pieces on display are available for purchase, with all proceeds going to Texas Wesleyan University's Department of Theatre. Five signature pieces will be available during a silent auction Saturday, April 25 during the Alumni Night performance at the 61st Annual Musical RENT. For more information about the art exhibit or the theatre performance, please call the Theatre Office at 817 531-5867.

"I hope I can encourage all of you to express your creativity," says Dr. Curtin. "You will never know what you can do until you try."

About the Artist

Curtin was born and raised in the Southwestern part of Ireland. Growing up in an isolated farming community surrounded by fields, religious icons and Celtic mysticism and stories of fairies and ghosts, farm animals, near the Atlantic ocean, churches, old castle and church ruins contributed to her formation as an artist from childhood to adulthood through her college years in Limerick.

She began a teaching career in elementary education in Ireland, which at the time required teaching art as well. Curtin completed many teacher education courses, completed her leaving certificate in Art History, and attended the Institute of Art and Design in Dublin for continuing education courses in art, while teaching in Dublin in the 1980's.

Each year, her students won competitions for art and expression. Teaching art to young children was always a love and one of her desires in life.

A Return to Painting

Immigrating to Texas in 1989 interrupted all art activity for Curtin; she only painted a few pieces during the 1990s and did not actively engage in her art for over a decade. Pursuing a masters degree, a Ph.D. and teaching full time consumed her space and time. Completing her Ph.D. at the University of North Texas in 2002 rekindled the desire and the resurgence of her interest in resuming her art.

Upon seeing a class advertised in the Hurst Recreation Magazine as "Brush and Palette, Express Your Talent" and with encouragement from her husband Bruce Wertz, she decided it was time to clean her brushes and get into art again. She joined the class, and with the support of her teacher, Elaine Roosz, and her painting companions, has ever since pursued her love of art once a week and in doing so has completed more than 80 canvasses.

Three of her pieces were commissioned in 1988 for a use in a dissertation, several others have been pursued by parties wishing to purchase her pieces, and some have been gifted to friends and family.

First Time on Public Display

This is the first public exhibition of Curtin's work. She brings out the abstract beauty of her Irish upbringing in her poignant scenes of fields, sheep, cows and other farm animals. Many of her earlier pieces are direct scenes from her native Ireland, based on her personal experiences in Ireland and her favorite parts of her native country.

Her dramatic use of symbolism in her art depicts her religious upbringing and her Celtic background. Many canvasses depict angels, fairies and some contain hidden elementals. Curtin's technique is with oil and palette knife and is very much impressionist and/or expressionist in style. Her greatest inspiration comes from Monet, Jack B. Yeats and Vincent Van Gogh.

If you are a fan of vivid color and impressionism, you will love her bold and daring work. She covers canvasses with thick paint and her work reflect her mood at different times during her life.

The death of her father in 2008 is reflected in several of her pieces from that period and depict more somber images that accompany loss, acceptance and finally peace.

Curtin travels extensively and brings her canvasses to life from memories of her trips to Egypt, Budapest and France, as well as from her beloved Ireland. 

She is an alumna of Texas Wesleyan University (1996) and has been a professor in the College of Education. In appreciation for the many years of joy the Theatre Department has provided her over the years and in grateful appreciation for all Texas Wesleyan has done for her, she is donating 100 percent of all proceeds of sale from her art to the University.

She hopes you enjoy the style and expression shown in her art, and that you will consider buying one or more pieces to benefit the Texas Wesleyan Theatre Department.

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