Chad Wesley Airhart, Ph.D.

 

Artist Statement

I’m interested in the juiciness and tactility of the paint itself. Although my work is inspired by direct observations of nature, the paintings become more like imagined worlds of color and texture as they depart from the constraints of a specific location. I study Post Impressionism as well as Expressionism (Abstract, German, and Neo-) and am continually responding to these movements in my own evolution as a painter.

The act of painting captures relative states of mind and isolated emotions, and eventually the painting begins to take shape with its own identity—a distinction that renews my own being. As a performance in experimentation and problem solving, a painting suggests an autonomous act of personal freedom.

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Biography

Chad Wesley Airhart grew up in Mesquite, Texas. He received his Ph.D. of Humanities in Aesthetic Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas and has enjoyed a blended career of teaching, scholarly work, and painting. Art history, art appreciation, and humanities are among the university courses he teaches. As a scholar, Airhart is concerned with the relationship between art theory and art practice, aesthetic philosophy, art criticism, and gestural abstraction.

Airhart has created multiple bodies of work consisting of worlds of ants, human figures, flora, and trees as his latest series. Although his subject matter has varied, Airhart’s creative process has endured, blending figuration and gestural abstraction with heavy paint application. Each series starts with several sketches and drawings as he works out the subject matter and spacial relationships. The painting phase then becomes a tactile response to these memories and studies.

Airhart lives with his family in Oneonta, Alabama. In addition to teaching academic courses, he also enjoys teaching classes in his gallery and studio space, The Makers Downtown. His art is represented in other galleries as well as numerous private collections.