Preferring to paint without borders, the artwork of Parker Fritz is unconfined by space or creativity. The canvas of one of his most recent works, ’Breaking Free,’ stretched all the way from Piqua to Louisiana for a collaboration with Lelan Gimnick. The painting is part of the ‘Extraordinary Vision’ exhibit on display at Studio 14 Benkin Gallery of Fine Art through July 22.
A Piqua artist, Fritz followed Gimnick’s work from online postings and admired his style. Despite, Gimnick living hundreds of miles away in Erath, Louisiana the idea was formed for the two of them to work on a painting together. “We’ve never met in person, just have talked on the phone and decided to do a collaborative piece,” said Fritz.
After painting the top half of the canvas, Fritz shipped it to Gimnick to fill in the bottom portion. Neither had any idea of what the other was going to do but their minds worked together cohesively. Fritz says he never doubted the results would be positive, “I trusted he’d do something cool and he did.”
The painting was shipped back and forth a couple of times, each adding details to their section. Upon seeing the completed effort, Rusty Harden of Studio 14 was inspired to form a display of abstract art. The works from a variety of other talented artists are also included in the show such as Ann Luken, Terry Glass and nationally award winning artist Karen Beneditti.
The ‘Extraordinary Vision’ of Fritz and Gimnick to team together led to the exhibit. “The piece wasn’t done purposefully for the show, but the painting became the purpose of the show,” said Harden, who also has some work on display.
It’s a much smaller canvas than Fritz is accustomed to working on as he usually paints pictures that are six feet wide or larger. He enjoys having uninhibited space to express himself, though the difficulty is finding a place to display the finished product.
An avid artist, Fritz has been drawing since a young age but from attending Edison he’s gained a deeper perspective on his talent. “It’s opened my eyes to see how effective art can be at expressing your innermost self. For some it’s writing, photography, or dance but painting does it me,” he said.
The creative expression of art is what Fritz values most about the field. He encourages parents to allow their children the freedom to reach for their limits of creativity. “My work has been called a lot of stuff. People have told me, ‘My children could do that.’ My response is always the same, I say, ‘Then let them. Let them be creative,’” said Fritz.
For any future such collaborative projects, Fritz would like to work on the whole painting with the other artist rather than each do half. Though he’s very pleased with the results of this effort and the vision he shared with Gimnick, which is also made evident by the statement they each, formed defining the painting. “We independently wrote each statement and it’s eerie how similar they are,” he said.
The ’Extraordinary Vision’ exhibit continues through July 22 at Studio 14 Benkin Gallery of Art at 14 E. Main Street.