Cloudy with some light freezing rain after midnight. Low 28F. Winds ESE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precip 40%..

Cloudy with some light freezing rain after midnight. Low 28F. Winds ESE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precip 40%.

It can work that way in art as well and is certainly the case in the latest exhibit at Arts on Grand in Spencer.

The abstract acrylic paintings by Patrick Leer are a welcome bright infusion of color during an otherwise gray season in the Midwest.

The show, titled “Consonance and Dissonance,” is on display through Feb. 22, and will challenge visitors unaccustomed to the style of work to look at art in a new way.

“It’s a bit of break in style for us to have this abstract of a show,” said Melissa Cadmus, curator at Arts on Grand. “A lot of people have been both refreshed and surprised by the show and the bright colors are just what we need this time of year.”

Leer has developed his work over the past 20 years gradually and subconsciously evolving from more representative work into the realm of the abstract.

“I may have a specific color or shape in mind, but there’s very little forethought on what the final painting will look like,” Leer says on his website. “Instead, I begin painting and let the emerging composition direct me. I continue to work it until it develops into a balanced, dramatic and aesthetically pleasing form. At that point, I know it’s done. If it never gets to that point, I re-prime the canvas and start over.”

“We talked at the opening about it being art without ego. He never really intended to show the paintings and didn’t have a desire to get you to learn anything in particular. It was just painting for painting’s sake,” Cadmus said. “Patrick enjoys color and moving it around a canvas and working to see where it takes the eye. People will find their own images just like looking at the clouds. It’s been fun to see people go through the gallery and hear what they see.”

As Cadmus notes, the brain wants to organize everything into neat categories and for everything to make sense.

“This isn’t always the style of art that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable,” Cadmus said. “I’ve been challenging people to take a moment and let yourself be uncomfortable. Stand with the art. It’s an opportunity for us to learn and grow and expand.”

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