The art of Gary Scroggs, a retired art educator with a studio in Beebe, has a “hometown feel,” according to Debbie Higgs, curator of the Searcy Art Galley, where Scroggs’ work is on display this month.

Higgs said Scroggs’ work “just vibrates with color. This is an artist that has shown at galleries like Gallery 26 in Little Rock in The Heights and has done marvelously well there. To me, he has a sense of humor.”

She pointed to his “Watermelon Oil” painting and said, “It screams watermelon and to me, that’s his sense of humor as well as his love of color. When you have got such a vibrant sense of color and it can jump off the page and you go, ‘Oh!’ that’s an artist.’” Higgs also pointed out “Lemonade Oil,” which she said was “stunning.”

Higgs said said she thinks 50-55 of Scroggs’ paintings have been hung up in the gallery and the upstairs is now open. A celebration of his art will be held today from 1-3 p.m. at the gallery in the historic Black House, 300 E. Race Ave. Wearing face masks is recommended. The gallery is open Tuesdays-Fridays from 1-4 p.m. and Saturdays from noon-4 p.m.

Artist information about Scroggs states that “his passion for Impressionist and Expressionist Movement is highly noted in his vibrant and colorful paintings. His polychromatic schemes are filled with odes that toy with the imagination of the viewer. He is a very prolific painter who has mastered colors with precise and almost sublime artistry.”

“I create paintings of an Expressionistic nature,” Scroggs said in a statement. “Many times they represent landscapes with flowing and vibrant colors. My art reflects glimpses of humanistic interpersonal relationships with nature. My art is powerful, insightful, dramatic and introspective.

“Distortion and manipulation show the unusual aspects of the media. This gives expression through unconscious and unknown forces. I hope that my artwork resonates with an individual perception and creates a mood for the viewer.”

Scross graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway and later completed a Master of Arts degree from Ole Miss.

“After 27 years of educating hundreds of junior and senior high students, I can now devote myself to my painting,” he said. “Many of my paintings can be found in the permanent collection of UCA.”

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