AXOM Gallery, 176 Anderson Ave., Rochester, is exhibiting “BLACK5 WHIT35 COLOR3D5,” a multidisciplinary body of work by Kurt Ketchum, through June 1.
Ketchum built his artistic style from his experience with layout and design as a graphic designer. He credits his uncle, Ron Ketchum, an artist and entrepreneur, with introducing him to his commercial art studio as a child.
Ketchum studied industrial arts, jewelry, architectural drawing and printing at East High School in Rochester. After graduation, he studied graphic arts for a year with his uncle, entered the field and started his career in graphic design.
“I am lucky to have been in close proximity to some very fine human beings,” Ketchum said. “I have learned through paying attention. In my case, the student appears when the teacher is ready. I actually uncovered some inspirational books in the RIT library that were critical to my fusing of my art with my design. Apparently they have always been linked, but for a period I was bent on keeping them separate; however, I have resolved this to a greater degree now.”
Ketchum’s art mixes numerical, alphabetical and geometric symbols to compel the viewer to examine its multiple layers of textures and shapes that interact in a field of interchangeable negative and positive spaces in search of meaning. His inspirations come from his moment to moment encounters with his visual world.
“My work aspires to represent the strife to achieve a level of order amidst the constant movement of life,” he said. “As humans, we have an opportunity to collectively and personally shape life by our choices. Seeing things differently, or seeing things that are often overlooked, is where my head goes.”
Ketchum said those choices lead people off course, but “these deviations can often bring the most creative opportunities.”
The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and by appointment. Visit axomgallery.com for information.