Justin Bernhardt has been creating art since he was a child growing up next door to artists on either side of his home in Kalamazoo. His "Essential Rhythms" exhibit is currently on display in the second floor art gallery of the Health and Human Services Building. A reception that is free and open to the public is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the gallery.
Bernhardt believes there is a place where awareness merges with the object, and only the experience remains. His work is inspired by the ripples, patterns and renewing spiritual qualities of water, and he uses color to "transform the viewer’s encounter with place and provide a positive consciousness shift." Through his paintings, he states, "I want to blur the boundaries between self and setting."
Bernhardt earned a B.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999 and an M.F.A. from Goddard College in February 2013. He has owned and operated two art galleries in Kalamazoo—The Lovell Street Gallery from 2001 to 2005 and The Lucid Gallery from 2007 to 2008—where he exhibited local artists’ and his own work.
In 2006, he earned a Merit Scholarship to study at the Ox-Bow School of Fine Art in Saugatuck, and earned the Lang Art Scholarship in 1997 from Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. His work has been purchased for public and private collections throughout the world, and he has taught fine art at Kalamazoo Valley Community College since 2002.
The WMU campus community and the general public are invited to view the exhibit from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday until Oct. 21, with the exception of Saturdays Sept. 28 and Oct. 12 and 19. For more information, contact Gay Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (269) 387-3839.