Michael Osgood – Our guest artist for June
Reception: Saturday, June 15, 2013 from 12 to 3 pm
Michael grew up in his native city of Springfield, Illinois, where his parents still live. He is the second oldest of five brothers. His father is an FBI agent. His parents encouraged him to pursue a career in mechanical engineering, in part due to his technical drawing skills. Instead, he studied architecture and art at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and went to work for an architectural firm after graduation. Finding that profession still too dry and technical for his taste, Michael shifted to interior design and worked for several years as a commercial interior designer; most of his work was designing big box retail stores for large national chains. He has now come full circle, returning to his original passion and calling, making art.
Michael attributes his artistic style to his love for the work of mid-20th century Abstract Expressionist Stuart Davis. Michael’s fascination with Davis’ technical process in his picture-making led Michael to begin his own experimentation. These pictures are free-form and colorful. Michael’s other paintings have a strong, graphic quality and are mostly black and white.
Michael does paint on canvas but prefers to paint on mat board. What looks like collage – often echoing Matisse’s cut-out paintings – is actually multiple layers of paint that when built up give the illusion of painted and applied paper.
Currently an eastside resident, Michael lived in Blackford’s Grove when he transferred to Evansville from Wisconsin. He fell in love with the neighborhood, and conceived his Plan for a Small House on a Narrow Lot in Blackford’s Grove to fit the shotgun lot next to Patchwork’s Pocket Park at the corner of E. Blackford and SE 6th Streets. While it would be easy to replicate a 19th century vernacular style like a shotgun on such a lot, Michael chose to work on a contemporary plan that uses common materials in unique ways. The most important factors in whether new construction harmonizes with a historic neighborhood are appropriate set backs, massing, scale and materials. This project addresses those factors very well, and we hope to see this house – and others akin to it – built in Blackford’s Grove.