Painting portraits of your favorite musicians is a time-honored way of paying homage to the artists you love. But more often than not, it's not that compelling as art. Sure, the original photograph of Johnny Cash flipping the bird is a powerful image, but how many times do we really need to see some hack, posterized version of it? And sometimes tribute art is just creepy to boot--if you've ever seen Johanna Pieterman's portraits of Stevie Nicks (johannas-art.com) then you know exactly what we mean. Earnest "Ernie" Benton's paintings thankfully avoid that trap, playing with color and movement to evoke the rhythms and melodies of his musical heroes, from B.B. King to John Coltrane. Together with friend and artist Daggi Wallace, Benton has created a new collection in the hopes of sparking the public's interest in blues and jazz. The Blues/Jazz Experience: Paintings by Earnest "Ernie" Benton and Daggi Wallace is on display through September 21 at the Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Call 972-252-ARTS or visit irvingartscenter.com.
July 28-Sept. 21, 2008