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‘Dark on Park’ has company Saturday

Downtown Warren will be a little darker and lighter for this year’s “Dark on Park” exhibition.

Now in its fourth year, the art show focusing on the scary and the macabre will be joined by several other similarly themed exhibitions nearby. A second show at the Art on Park building will focus on art inspired by David Lynch’s television series “Twin Peaks.”

Braceville artist James Holko will have his second exhibition of horror-inspired images at Beautiful Whirl’d and the Shortcut Gallery on West Market Street, and Warren artist Joshua Kronauer will show some of his horror art at Curated Vintage Goods on Elm Road NE, Warren.

James Shuttic, director of the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County, said having multiple shows with similar themes in close proximity is an effective way to bring people downtown. Last Saturday night during and after Ghost Walk, another FACT event, there wasn’t a parking place to be had around Courthouse Square.

“The number of people who came downtown to eat, either before or after Ghost Walk, was just amazing,” Shuttic said.

This year’s “Dark on Park” will feature more than 40 works by 19 artists: Trisha Mullen, Gerald Young, Kristina Vogel, Terry Polonsky, Rindi Hanna, Lucas Cummins, Carmen Denno, Shannon Fee, Jeff Vargo, Kate Huff, Adam Gregory, Gary W. Barnes, Christine Webster, Josh Ford, Bonnie Loomis, Timothy Milliner, Dave Karr, Shuttic and Kronauer.

“This is probably my favorite one as far as the pieces submitted,” Shuttic said. “There are some really solid pieces. A few people worked over the past year to get stuff together. Since we’ve been doing it annually, people can anticipate it and work on things.”

He also sees some differences stylistically from past years.

“There’s a lot more use of color than in previous years,” Shuttic said. “They’re more vibrant, there’s more saturation. In previous years, the tone was just dark — grays, black, red. This year there are a lot of yellows and oranges, vibrant colors even in the darker pieces, which was kind of a cool to see that shift and unexpected.

“It’s always interesting to see how artists can play with contradictory notions. People assume dark colors mean dark, morbid things. Artists are playing around with the idea of using bright colors typically associated with happy, animation-type art and using it to depict dark subject matter.”

The upstairs space at Art on Park will be devoted to “One Chance Out Between Two Worlds: A Twin Peaks Art Show,” which is being curated by Warren artist David Wheeler.

“It’s the darkest soap opera ever made,” Wheeler said. “The imagery is very iconic — mountains, pine trees, patterned floors, people shifting from normal to demon-like. It felt like there was a lot to work with.”

The television series, which premiered in 1990, spawned films, books, soundtrack albums and a 2017 continuation on Showtime, which introduced it to a new generation of fans.

Wheeler still was accepting submissions on Tuesday, but he expected at least a half dozen area artists to submit pieces for the show, and he plans to create a Lynchian atmosphere in the upstairs gallery with red curtains and 90-minute mixtape of music from the series and stylistically similar songs.

He also is using the show to gauge interest in a future exhibition that would feature art inspired by Lynch’s full body of work, which includes such films as “Eraserhead,” “Blue Velvet” and “Wild at Heart.”

Kronauer said the Curated Vintage Goods exhibition came about after the Mark Martof, the shop’s owner, saw his work at an Art on Park event.

“He’s really into horror, and most of my pieces are based in horror or pop culture,” Kronauer said.

He will have 10 to 15 paintings on display during a Halloween party at Curated Vintage Goods.

“The use of colors and styles changes dramatically throughout,” Kronauer said. “When it comes to horror, you can make it your own. It’s very organic and fun to mess with.”

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