Michael Schliefke shows new nautical silkscreen oil paintings at “Sailing Away” exhibit April 14-15
Local painter Michael Schliefke will show a new series of silkscreen oil paintings at his Schliefkevision Gallery (104 Askew Ave.) this weekend. The opening reception will take place Friday, April 14, from 6-9 p.m., and gallery hours continue into Saturday, April 15, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Michael Schliefke is a painter working in his studio in Northeast Kansas City. Constantly producing new work and art-related side projects, Schliefke also teaches art classes and has worked on various art projects and murals over the years. His work often combines art history, personal experiences, and travel imagery.
“These new oil paintings came from some ink drawings I did last year. Those were a series of boats run aground among man-made environmental and political disasters. I’ve kept making odd little sketches of boats in my sketchbook for the past year now, and I wanted to work on them in oil on larger canvases. These paintings have really about the joy of paint, using intuitive color to create a mood and tension in them,” Schliefke says of the new collection.
Schliefke describes the new exhibit and his inspirations for the new collection of paintings that will be on display as follows:
“Combining a love of art history and the act of painting, ‘Sailing Away’ centers around imagery of Charons, sirens, and shipwrecks. Often evoking a lost, solitary tone, these paintings use imagery attached to the sea to address themes of loss, memory, and struggle. Boats become figurative vessels; sirens border on luscious, alluring mounds of paint. Skies and seas are full of alarm, dread, and wonder.”
The paintings in this show are from 2023 and are making their debut to the viewing public this weekend.
“I’m not a sailor by any stretch, but I did grow up along a coast, and the ocean was always a marvel to me,” Schliefke says. “The boats started looking more like triremes. After a depressing December with the unexpected loss of my uncle, thoughts of funerals, rituals, and loss naturally added in Charon, the mythical ferryman shuffling souls to the underworld. So the imagery all developed into its own series, and the boats started to look towards the call of the sirens. Rituals help people heal, and painting helps me do that.”
Schliefke is excited to bring his new work to the public and simply see people have fun while viewing it.
“The last few years have been harder than I imagined, and this is the first real show of new paintings I’ve had since November 2019,” Schliefke says. “I like the work in the show and am glad to show it off. Every ending provides a new beginning, so I’m really excited to see where all of this work takes me, as I already have a slew of freshly made canvases sitting in my painting rack.”