Two fathers who seem to have succeeded quite nicely are noted painters Thomas Arvid and Steve Penley. Donna Krueger, owner of dk Gallery on the Square in Marietta, tells me she is putting together a special show of the works of Arvid and Penley this coming Saturday, June 14. Having both these nationally-acclaimed artists exhibit at one gallery at the same time would be quite a coup by any measure but it turns out they are not the stars of the show. It’s their sons.
The exhibit is entitled “Like Father Like Son” and will feature the works of Arvid’s two sons, Jimmy, 13, and Christopher, 11, and Penley’s son, Lyall, 11. It seems as though the artistic apples haven’t fallen far from the trees.
“Like Father Like Son” will run quite appropriately on the day before Father’s Day from 2 to 5 p.m. at dk Gallery. Krueger urges parents to bring their children and promises kid-friendly food and the opportunity for some art activities of their own. She says, and I agree, that it is never too early to introduce the world of art to children.
I continue to be impressed with Donna Krueger’s creativity and boundless energy. Not only is dk Gallery as good or better than many of the art galleries in Atlanta, she is also a tireless promoter of fine art and of the well-being of The Square. That’s a great combination, and I hope the city poobahs appreciate her considerable efforts.
Even though I haven’t qualified as a kid for several eons, I plan to be at dk Gallery next Saturday. I am prepared to have my fragile psyche bruised.
I got a late start at painting and am blessed with a good and patient instructor, Marietta’s Kristopher Meadows, who has brought me forward at warp speed. But I know the only thing I have in common with Thomas Arvid and Steve Penley is that while we all put paint on canvas, they happen to do it much better than I do. Now, I suspect I am about to find out firsthand that their boys can paint me under the easel, too.
I don’t know Thomas Arvid personally but I have long-admired his art. Arvid is known as America’s pre-eminent painter of wine. He has created some outstanding works that are represented in over 50 elite art galleries in the U.S., Canada and Japan and are collected by a number of influential wineries around the country. Arvid says that he paints wine because he loves good wine and through his art he can share that love with others.
I met Steve Penley once. It was awkward, to say the least. I had shown up at Northside Methodist Church in Atlanta with one of my “Is-that-a-paint-by-the-numbers?” efforts as he was unfurling a gigantic mural on the Crucifixion to hang at the church. It is so magnificent it has to be seen to be appreciated. A well-meaning friend said to Penley, “Dick paints, too.”
There are no holes to crawl in at the church or I would have found one and pulled my well-meaning friend and her big mouth in with me. Penley was graciously complimentary about my painting, whether he meant it or not. I made sure not to ask. I later reported that I felt like Gomer Pyle talking to Colin Powell about military strategy.
Both Thomas Arvid and Steve Penley have to feel great satisfaction in seeing their sons prepare for their first exhibition.
Arvid says, “I am so proud of my boys and how hard they have worked for their first art show. They both are so creative and have very specific ideas about how they want their art to look. I am excited for them to share their vision with everyone.”
What a great Father’s Day gift that is. Nothing beats being a proud dad.
My children don’t paint but they love the fact their dad does. I have experienced no greater pleasure in my long life than presenting them with one of my finished products, whether it be a portrait of great-grandson Cameron Charles Yarbrough or a seascape from their beloved Saint Simons Island or paintings of their smarter-than-Einstein dogs. They are pretty pleased, also, that their old man has a painting hanging at the state Capitol.
Next weekend, I plan to enjoy fatherhood and art and the opportunity to meet a couple of famous fathers and their talented sons who appreciate just how special that combination is.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.