Back to All Events

Out of the Classroom: Our Neighborhood - Gallery Reception

Every August, the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center hosts the “Out of the Classroom” exhibit which is exclusively comprised of works by an artist (or group of artists) who teaches. This August we are honored to feature Phoebus High School teacher Chris Hakanson.

“Out of the Classroom: Our Neighborhood” by artist Chris Hakanson, is a collection of plein air (open air) paintings of the 7 cities and Williamsburg. In this exhibit, Hakanson captures the malleability of seemingly static landmarks and locations as they transform through their interaction with the natural environment, people, and time. This collection is considered a phase of his portfolio dealing with color, placement, and atmosphere.  He is challenging the amount of shadow we see by using hues of color in new and different value and temperature. Hakanson is also attempting to challenge his skill of perspective drawing while painting.

Shortly after relocating to Hampton from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he began “plein air” painting.  He is classically trained in oils but has switched to acrylic painting for this collection. He attributes a lot to his position as an Animation and Fine Arts Teacher at Phoebus High School also to his understanding of the arts.  He regularly attends classes in painting and drawing to further his understanding of form, gradation, and modeling of his subjects.

“Out of the Classroom: Our Neighborhood” will be displayed in our Newport News Community Gallery from August 3-31, 2019 with an opening reception on August 3, 2019 from 6:00-8:00pm. Meet the artist and learn more about his work and process. Completely free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP is appreciated but not required.

At the reception, patrons will have the chance to win a free print of one of the artist’s pieces! To enter this raffle, please RSVP.