The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

August 25, 2013

Gallery makes exhibit out of Joplin man's regular contributions (w/SLIDESHOW)

JOPLIN, Mo. — He loves art for its interactivity.  The way a work can be inspired by a symphony, for instance. Or how an opera can be based upon a piece of literature. How one artistic component can inform another, and another after that, until something wholly original springs from the imagination.

Jerry Caskey sees these lines. He  follows them to see where they might lead. And once there, he attempts to capture this new thought, story or image on paper.

Visitors to the Upstairs Gallery at Spiva Center for the Arts will find the walls lined with works he has created. The pieces that make up "Jerry Caskey: Drawn to Collage" were hand delivered to the gallery over a 13-year period.

Make no mistake: Spiva isn't usually in the business of collecting artwork that people bring in off the street, says Sean Conroy, the gallery and gift shop coordinator at Spiva. But Caskey's drawings, collage work and stories stand out, he says.

"It has a very unique feel to it," Conroy says. "Some of it suggests a larger world that Jerry is creating. The way he's organized it are like worlds you might see in a science fiction movie. It has its own logic to it. It's curious work that makes you wonder what it's about. We were drawn to it and thought other people would be as well."

If Caskey looks familiar, it may be because he can be found most days at Joplin Public Library, where he spends his time reading, writing and creating new works of art.

Ask about his artistic philosophy, and he'll talk at length about Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso or the surrealist movement. He's read just every book on those topics and others available on the library shelves.

Ask him how what he learned from those book interacts with his own work, and it's a simple answer: "Everything has dimension. Everything has perspective."

Everything.

And that includes Jerry Caskey.

 

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