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It's been two years since M2 Gallery brought the artwork of Tim West to the public, and now they're bringing it back in a big way with "Westland: The Life and Art of Tim West," which features artwork by Tim West and photography by Diana Michelle Hausam. The exhibit will open Friday, May 13 from 6-9 p.m., with an artist talk scheduled on Saturday, May 14 from 2-4 p.m.
"Westland," like its predecessor "The Artist" (2009), will feature the artwork of the reclusive 74-year-old Winslow resident and the photography of Diana Michelle Hausam, who has been documenting West's life through photography and film over the last several years.
"The combination of Tim's artwork with Diana's photography is spectacular," enthuses Mac Murphy, owner of M2 Gallery. "It really gives the viewer a way to connect with who Tim is, and where his art comes from."
Murphy continues, "This show will be one of the largest shows we've had at M2 Gallery. The first show featuring these two was tremendously successful, and since then, everyone has been falling in love with the story of Tim, his artwork, and the beautiful way in which Diana has captured his personality and surroundings through her photography."
West, who had an etching accepted into the permanent collection of MOMA at the age of 19 and who received his MFA from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in the early 1960s, has spent much of his life creating but not displaying or showing his artwork to the public. Several years ago, a chance meeting changed that when Hausam drove past his property and noticed a fence made of bicycles. She wanted to photograph it and left a note on the gate. Soon afterward, she received a letter in the mail from Tim instructing her to come back on a specified day and honk her horn. She did. Upon her arrival, West emerged from the woods, and Hausam was hit with a revelation. "It was immediately apparent that he was my subject," she says.
Soon after, West began showing his artwork to Hausam. Since that time, M2 Gallery has been representing the work of both Hausam and West. West, whose life has taken a much different course than most, is pleased with the overwhelming response to his artwork. "I just figured I'd be dead 10 years before anyone would ever even notice my art," he says.
Currently, Hausam is filming "Westland," a documentary about West. Film crews will be at the opening of the show and at the artist talk to film West and his growing number of patrons and fans.