Dot to Dot with Barry Messer

Mississippi Dreaming  by Barry Messer

Mississippi Dreaming by Barry Messer

The Alliance Art Gallery is happy to feature the work of guest artist Barry Messer during the month of June. Barry finds his deepest inspiration in the work of Australian Aborigines, ancient art, and stories of Native Americans. He draws a connection to these cultures through his art—reminding us that we share the human experience regardless of time, place, race, or culture.

In 1977, he attended his first show of Aboriginal art. "The dot paintings completely blew me away,” he recalls. "The surfaces of the paintings were so animated, so vibrant, I could not help but be affected by them. The dots, coupled with bright colors and fantastic compositions struck a deep chord.” Over time, Barry explored their world through his own artistic journey, today being known as “Mandot: The Dot Man”.

Barry seemed destined to be an artist. As his family moved from Illinois to New Orleans to Seattle, art became the one constant. Enlisting in the Army, he sold his first works to his buddies. Later he studied art seriously, working under excellent artists, including William Ivey, a recognized abstract expressionist.

Adding advertising and graphics to his repertoire, his own style began to emerge. In the 80s, Barry employed dots in his work using a stipple technique in pen and ink and gauche. By 1984 he had his first one-man show in Seattle.

Moving in 1993 to Hannibal to be closer to his wife’s grandparents, Barry has jumped into the local art scene, busy with commissions, competitions, group shows, and workshops. Today he does digital prints as well as original paintings.

Always, the dots take center stage. "They are an integral part of my work. If a painting doesn't have dots, it seems kind of naked to me," says Barry.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, June 11 from 5 until 8:00. This coincides with Hannibal's Second Saturday Gallery Night. The exhibit will run through July 4th.