Ocala's Appleton showcases Chick Schwartz in latest exhibit


Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 2:53 p.m.

Be careful when viewing the new art exhibit by Chick Schwartz at the Appleton Museum of Art.

Facts

‘Chick Schwartz: Cedar Key Artist'

When: Saturday through March 17. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays
Where: Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala
Museum admission: $6 for adults; $4 for ages 55 or older and students 19 and older; $3 for ages 10-18 and free for members, CF students, active military personnel (and their immediate families) and ages 9 and younger
Info: 291-4455, www.AppletonMuseum.org

You may get vertigo when taking in his ceramic, high-relief wall sculptures; you may even need to hold on to something.

Or when viewing his bronze sculptures, your mind may play tricks on you. There is much negative space in the art, and you may think you don't see anything, but then you do.

Meanwhile, his colorful landscape paintings may give you a longing to visit nearby Cedar Key, the small Gulf-side town in Levy County where the artist lives with his artist wife, Marsha.

“It's inspired the paintings for sure. When you wake up to a Cedar Key sunrise, it's pretty inspirational,” said Schwartz, who's called it home for 10 years. “When you cross that first bridge, and the panorama opens up with all the little islands, it's a pretty special place. It's an exquisite place.

“All the horrible things we do to each other in this world kind of melt away when you get to the No. 4 bridge.”

He brings this world — with its mind tricks and hometown nods — to Ocala this week when “Chick Schwartz: Cedar Key Artist” opens Saturday at the Appleton Museum of Art.

He said the exhibit of about 55 pieces is a retrospective of his 40 years as an artist.

Schwartz is probably best known for his Looking Downs, the perspective high-relief ceramic wall sculptures.

“They're called Looking Downs because when they work, you feel like you're five stories up looking down,” he said. “You can almost get a queasy feeling in your stomach. I've done more than 300 of those over the years, and they are all over the world.”

Years ago, a gallery on Madison Avenue in New York City began showing his works.

“People would buy one and then send their private planes back to New York to get it back to their home country,” he said of the large pieces. “We lived off those for many years. That's how we fed our boys and sent them to college.”

There are three such sculptures in the Appleton exhibit, including one of God as a woman looking down at what she has created.

Schwartz frequents a salvage yard between Gainesville and Ocala off U.S. 441 to get items for sculptures.

In fact, “The Peacock,” in this exhibit, was made with items from there. “It looks like a great huge peacock, but it's just old paint can lids and old 45 records glued together and painted.”

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