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The Venue Fine Art & Gifts unites work of two artists for January First Friday



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The Venue is scheduled to be host to a show that includes works of art from Bart Gilbert and Annekke Dekker on Friday, Jan. 6,. All of the art pieces are available for purchase. Rebecca Mehling Buy Photos

The Venue Fine Art & Gifts is beginning the year by incorporating a new hanging exhibit with its existing metal exhibition, which has covered the floor of the gallery since December.

The two-dimensional painting work of Anneke Dekker will be unveiled at this month’s First Friday event, starting at 5 p.m. The paintings will hang alongside Bert Gilbert’s sculpture show, which will continue its run at the Venue through the month.

Dave Colman, curator of the Venue, said Dekker’s work reflects a lifetime of movement from one home to another.

“Anneke is Dutch, lived for a number of years in South Africa and has lived for a while in LaPorte, Indiana,” Colman said. “She has a distinctive style that has been heavily influenced by her South African experience.”

Colman said Dekker, now in her 60s, is drawn to Bloomington now because of a grandson who goes to IU, though her life has taken her around the world because of her husband’s 
career.

Dekker began by moving to South Africa, moved around the United States then to LaPorte, where she has been creating art since, Colman said.

“They have a spectacular home up there. Her home is like an art display,” Colman said. “She’s been a leader of the art community in Michigan City LaPorte for many years. It’s really the circumstance of her grandson going to school here that has allowed us to get her art.”

Colman said Gilbert also has an interesting artistic perspective because he received a degree in fine arts but has spent the majority of his life focused on running his construction company, Gilbert Construction.

The past six or seven years have been when Gilbert truly returned to art. He has specifically worked with metal sculpting and casting, Colman said.

“His company has been a major underwriter for WFIU Public Radio for a number of years,” Colman said. “He’s a very sophisticated builder-contractor. He strikes you much more as a metal sculptor than a contractor, and he’s only just getting back to metal sculpting.”

The decision to display the works of Dekker and Gilbert together this month came from a place of convenience and a motivation to display complementary works simultaneously, 
Colman said.

“Most of the metal sculptures are not wall-mounted, except for two that are, so that left our walls open for two-dimensional art,” Colman said. “You’ll see Anneke’s work sort of matches up with the metal very nicely. She works in blues, grays and silvers. The metal is all metallic, and it works well 
together.”

The remainder of the semester will include a variety of programming, including the 
continuation of the Venue’s Tuesday evening lecture series, and a couple of popular events Colman said he looks forward to restarting.

“In the remainder of January, we are doing our emerging artist shows,” Colman said. “We’ve booked a number of shows for the year — one is metal-smithing, one is a local painter. We’re also particularly looking forward to our Juried Art Show in June and that Ekphrasis event that pairs the poetry with the paintings.”

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