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Gallery View: Answering ‘Call’ at Charter Arts

Because it’s too early in the 2021-22 school year to showcase student work, “The Unconscious Call to Adventure and the Poetry of Life” by Dorian Vallejo continues through Oct. 15, Corpora Art Gallery, Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, Bethlehem.

An artist’s reception was held Oct. 1 as part of Southside Bethlehem’s October “First Friday.”

“Dreamer in Between” (2014; oil on canvas, 62 in. x 60 in.) is one of the larger works on display where the artist skillfully executes the passage of time with one captured moment juxtaposed over an earlier one. The dream-like, almost photorealistic, painting depicts a woman in the moment she is gently awakened while sleeping comfortably as her bed floats in swirling waters.

“The way we experience time is linear. There is also this conscious awareness that time is ephemeral, and we are as creatures moving through time,” explains Vallejo about seeking visual ways to explore “that element of our awareness of being alive.”

“Every Year and Every Year” (2019; oil on wood panel, 18 in. x 31 in.) is a more painterly approach to capturing a moment in time. A seated woman pensively sorts through items she has placed on a tray in her lap. Mementos and gemstones, Taken from an adjacent jewelry cabinet, are touchstones to precious memories.

Charter Arts’ Director of Visual Arts Lorie Reinhard credits art faculty member Roger Brinker with introducing her to Vallejo and suggesting he provide instruction to their visual arts students via an online workshop. In spring 2020, Vallejo presented a workshop course, “Art of the Sketchbook.”

The exhibition, says Reinhard, “is a wonderful opportunity for our students, because, they got to see his sketches and preparatory works. Now they get to see his final and finished paintings.”

Brinker, a friend of the artist who curated the exhibition, met Vallejo during the 1980s when they were enrolled at the Barnstone Studios, Coplay, founded by Myron Barnstone.

Vallejo, born in New York, graduated from the School of Visual Arts, New York City, in 1990, and took classes at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Art.

Vallejo is the son of Peruvian-American painter Boris Vallejo, noted for science fiction and fantasy art, and Doris Vallejo.

Vallejo began his career at age 11, painting pictures of album covers on the back of jean jackets. As an art student, he supported himself by creating comic book and book covers. Being mentored by his instructors inspired him to pursue fine art as a career.

The Easton-based painter and his artist girlfriend share a studio in a former schoolhouse in Phillipsburg, N.J.

Corpora Art Gallery, Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, 321 E. Third St., Bethlehem: www.charterarts.org. To view the exhibit during school hours, contact Lorie Reinhard, lreinhard@charterarts.org.

“Gallery View” is a column about artists, exhibitions and galleries. To request coverage, email: Paul Willistein, Focus editor, pwillistein@tnonline.com

PRESS PHOTO BY ED COURRIER Dorian Vallejo with “Every Year and Every Year” (2019; oil on wood panel, 18 in. x 31 in.), Corpora Art Gallery, Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts.