Bob Gamage died a year ago this month after a dreadful, year-long struggle with lung cancer. The painter and owner of Berkeley Park Art Gallery came to the art world gradually, having first studied psychology at the C. G. Jung Institute in San Francisco and earning a masters degree in Archetypal Psychology.
But in 1980, while still at the Institute, he began to paint, at first as a part of his academic interests. As an enthusiastic Sunday painter, he was initially drawn, as are so many self-taught artists, to the plein air movement that dominates current-day impressionism. In these paintings, he captured the landscape or city landmarks in an old-fashioned way.
But at the Art Students League of Denver, where he took classes and participated in workshops, he came in contact with an artist who eschewed representational imagery: Dale Chisman. One of Colorado’s greatest abstract painters Chisman sparked Gamage to radically change his style. Though his oeuvre is uneven in quality and wildly varied in style, Gamage’s best works, like “Pacific Sailer” (pictured), are darned good.
To honor the anniversary of his passing, the Berkeley Park Art Gallery -- now owned by Gamage’s sister Betty Arca -- is presenting Paint It Like Bob, a group show anchored by Gamage paintings and supplemented with works by other artists who studied with Chisman at the Art Students League. They include Leslie Allen, Catherine Dixon, Vicki Johnson, Lela Kay, Barbara Kloehn, Time McKay and Jahe Smith.
This heartfelt tribute gets underway at 6 p.m. today (Friday), April 4, at the Berkeley Park Art Gallery, 4999 West 44th Avenue, 303-809-5043. -- Michael Paglia