FIRE BARN GALLERY

TREES, SKIES AND FIGURES - RECENT PAINTINGS BY MIKE COLEMAN

Work will be on view Nov 23 - Dec 3. Wed, Fri and Sat 12-6.

Mike Coleman is not afraid of paintings' conventions. He doesn't let art history or his schooling box in his vision or hold back his creativity.

Mike was classically trained at Dartmouth and the New York Studio School in lower Manhattan. He has lived in France, traveled Italy extensively and has had studios in New Hampshire, New York City and here in Grand Haven.

His passion extends beyond his own painting; his love of museums is renowned among his friends. He can spend an entire day looking at art.

He also has a passion for his friends paintings. He helped establish and manage the Theater Bar and Grand restaurant in downtown Grand Haven. During that time he has filled the walls with original art to the point that anything that isn't fine art seems almost out of place.

His enthusiasm for bringing art and sharing it in West Michigan was the impetus behind starting the Theater Bar gallery series. He has shown a different artist every month for the last 8 years, that's almost 100 shows.

His passion also extends to music.  He has said one of his favorite parts of managing the restaurants was booking the music. He has taken that love of booking music acts at the restaurants and turned it into creating the Indie Rock Music Festival, which just had its fourth annual show on Grand Havens Main Street downtown.

Mike has been living and working in Michigan for the past 10 years. He is now moving back to NYC to pursue his own career in art and to represent artists and musicians under the business title 2nd Ave Arts.  But in the midst of all these things that Mike does, painting still remains at the heart of it all.

This show represents Mikes most recent work, the title refers to the directness with which he tackles each motif.

"I think his excitement for painting and what he's painting come through first and foremost. You really get the feeling that he picks his motifs very carefully, making sure that it's something he enjoys, so that he can pass that on to the observer." says curator Chris Protas.