A prodigal artist son returns.
Painter Jason Chase will join forces with longtime local sculptor Sean O'Meallie in "Play," a new show at the Gallery of Contemporary Art 1420 at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. It opens Friday with a reception and free lectures by the artists.
"We came up with 'Play,' which we both sort of do with ideas and things," O'Meallie says. "He'll be including work that has to do with pop culture references and toys. We both have an affinity for toys."
Chase, who grew up in the Springs, graduated from UCCS in 2000 and moved to Boston to earn a Master of Fine Arts at Boston University. He was known for his paintings rich with pop culture references, including Weebles, the egg-shaped toys for kids that Hasbro introduced in the 1970s. Since relocating, Chase has achieved the goal of making a living doing art. He's had shows in museums and galleries, done commission work and taught.
"He has a way of conveying an optical reality that is interesting psychologically," O'Meallie says. "You're in a limbo state, and he doesn't explain everything away."
O'Meallie will show mostly new work covering a range of subjects, including toys, guns, consumerism, group think and the environment, and an installation of vinyl parrot inflatables.
The work of the two artists collides in meaningful ways, O'Meallie says.
"We have different concerns and methods, but we both are drawn to the come-on from products, packaging, marketing stimulations and ideas - visual enticements," he says.
"We both play with the surface of things, and sometimes the complicated ideas behind them, and sometimes disturbing ideas. There's a bit of visual delight - eye candy - combined with something a little off-kilter and disturbing."
Works by Jason Chase and Sean O'Meallie, opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, runs noon-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays or by appointment, through Dec. 19, Gallery of Contemporary Art 1420, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, free; 255-3504, uccs.edu/~goca.
Something else: Lectures by the artists, 5 p.m. Friday, free.
JEN MULSON, THE GAZETTE, 636-0270, JEN.MULSON@GAZETTE.COM