With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

The November art exhibit at the Bruton Memorial Library in downtown Plant City is a lovey and eclectic collection of paintings by Tampa resident, Mike King. There are 13 pieces in the exhibit with a theme of “Live in the Layers.”

The theme of the exhibit is drawn from a poem by the Poet Laureate, Stanley Kunitz. According to King, “The poem alludes to the poet growing older and coming to the understanding that the loss of his loved ones and hard experiences have guided his life in ways that he did not foresee, yet the experiences have led him to appreciate their inherent value.”

Amanda LaPorta, the Adult Services Librarian for the Bruton Memorial Library said, “King’s paintings encompass a unique spectrum of colors and emotions. Pieces such as Catfish Man and At the Fair, are strongly reminiscent of rural Florida, while Psychedelic Shark delights and overwhelms with bursts of vibrant color.” LaPorta added, “King’s expressive oeuvre was selected for display for its breadth of subject matter and bold use of color.”

The exhibit, which features many different media including acrylic on canvas, watercolor and acrylic on wood, is interesting and pleasing to the eye. There are many different pops of color throughout the exhibit.

In his Artist Statement, King said, “My color choices are inspired by the Impressionists and the realism of Andrew Wyeth’s watercolors and egg tempera paintings. My interest in expressionistic and figurative abstraction comes from such artists as Abraham Rattner and Hans Hoffman. The abstract work is created spontaneously and intuitively. I usually have a vague concept in mind before I begin, and I let the painting tell me what to do. I appreciate the creative principle that abstract artist, Jackson Pollock, applied to his method of painting- ‘Every painting has a life of its own. I Just try to let it come through.’”

King studied art at Allegany College in Cumberland, Maryland and with Bruce Marsh at USF. His art has been exhibited at many places including the TECO Atrium Gallery, Tampa General Hospital and several area libraries.

King’s exhibit can be seen during the normal operating hours of the Bruton Memorial Library which is located at 302 McLendon St. in Plant City. For more information on the library and all of its services, visit www.plantcitygov.com/Bruton-Memorial-Library.