By Kelly M. Gross
Director, Strawn Art Gallery
The Art Association of Jacksonville is pleased to present the artwork of Roland Folse, MD, February 4-6 at The David Strawn Art Gallery, 331 W. College Ave., Jacksonville. The exhibit is titled “An Insatiable Desire to Create,” and will kick off with an opening reception on Saturday, February 4 from 6-8 p.m. An introduction of the 2023 Beaux Arts Ball Co-Chairmen Cammie Symons, Stephanie Davidsmeyer Alexander and Kristen Davidsmeyer will take place during the opening reception at 6:30 p.m., with a “Gallery Talk” by Dr. Folse to immediately follow the introductions. Folse is graciously donating 50% of all artwork sales back to The David Strawn Art Gallery.
Folse will be showing oil and pastel paintings, ceramics, furniture and wooden pieces in his exhibit. All his life, he has wanted to make things — to use his hands — and to change what he sees or dreams into a new form. Perhaps, he indicated, that is why he was drawn to a career in surgery.
Folse grew up in a home where art was important, and although he has had little formal art training, he has studied and experimented with many forms of creating art. He enjoys painting nature — particularity trees, mountains, streams and skies.
About 60 years ago, while he was living in Seattle, Folse took an interest in raising bonsai, which is a living, structural art form. Shaping these trees helped him visualize more clearly landscapes and trees in nature. Thirty-two years ago, he began taking ceramic classes at Sangamon State University in order to make his own bonsai pots. He took many years of ceramic classes and became “hooked’ on art pottery, particularly the oriental style using shino and crystalline glazes.
Folse also enjoys working with wood and has maintained a wood-working shop most of his adult life. His furniture pieces are one-of-a-kind. He enjoys using figured and unusual native woods to accent his structures. Many of his pieces have bent wood forms, veneer and multiple species of wood to accent each piece.
Folse has also painted much of his life working with either pastels or oils. Since retiring from the department of surgery at the SIU School of Medicine in 2000, he has been able to travel extensively and take painting workshops in several countries. He also enjoys painting en plein air where he can paint loosely and fairly quickly.
Gallery hours February 5-26 are Sundays from 1-3 p.m. and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4-6 p.m. The David Strawn Art Gallery opening and exhibit hours are free and open to the public.