A&M International Art Professor's "Noir Images" Opens April 11 at LCC

"Noir Images," an exhibit of paintings by Texas A&M International University Assistant Professor of Art Kenney Mencher, will open Friday, April 11 with a special reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Art Gallery at Laredo Community College.

The exhibit, which will hang through May 2, is hosted by the LCC Art Department, the A&M International College of Arts and Humanities and its Department of English, Spanish and Fine Arts.

The 40-plus selections in the exhibit are unified in their exploration of the iterations of noir (dark) and include images inspired by film noir, peeks at lives lived in darkness and the vagaries of life after hours.

The reception April 11 is open to the public and free of charge. Music will be provided by Tone Stucco, an ambient group formed by A&M International faculty members Dr. Michael Angulo and Dr. Michael Yoder. Refreshments will be served.

The exhibit includes original drawings which lead to the oil paintings featured in the exhibit, allowing viewers to see the selection develop. Proceeds from exhibit sales will support student art scholarships at LCC and the University and the Laredo Center for the Arts.

The artist said he paints because he must and painting provides an opportunity for him to linger and look at life.

"I paint because I feel that I have to. I paint because I love to render and I love to look. I paint because I am a voyeur and I have to comment and reinterpret what I see. I paint because I need to communicate my passion for communication," he explained.

Mencher says he draws inspiration from other artists who seek out new revelations of the human form.

"I learn from looking at the artists who deal primarily with the human form. I like to look at people. The artists who inspire me emphasize and balance chiaroscuro, color, and composition, against a strong emotional, expressive, and narrative content.

"Edward Hopper's, John Singer Sargent's, Lucian Freud's, and Rembrandt's works resonate the most strongly for me, mainly because in their portrayal of humanity they still are masters of paint quality and color," he said.

Mencher, who joined the University faculty this past fall, is developing the University's fine arts program.

He holds an MFA in Painting from the University of Cincinnati and an MA in Art History from the University of California, Davis. His BA in Art History was earned from the City University of New York, Bronx, New York.

Prior to joining A&M International, he was visual curator for the University of Chicago and an adjunct faculty member there. Additional teaching appointments have been held at the University of California, Davis.

Mencher's previous exhibits have been held in galleries including the Brody Gallery at the University of Cincinnati; Sacramento's Garden Gallery; the Martin Rathurn Gallery, part of the Blue Star Complex of San Antonio; the National Arts Club of Manhattan and the Mason Fine Art Gallery, among others.

His work can be found in the collections of Founder's Title and Trust, Sacramento; Dr. Dianne Macleod of Oakland; Norma Turner of Davis and Issaac Barchus of Chicago.

Mencher will also be featured in a solo exhibit at the Laredo Center for the Arts in June with sales benefitting the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra.

For more information, contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at Texas A&M International University at 326. 2180. University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

A preview of some exhibit selections can be accessed at http://www.tamiu.edu/~kmencher/

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu