Drawings by award-winning artist at CLU

'The Big Picture' features Russian-born Alexey Steele

Known as “cartoons,” the drawings are made to work out problems of composition and form before committing to the painting.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Sept. 14, 2012) – A selection of large drawings by award-winning painter Alexey Steele will be on exhibit at California Lutheran University from Oct. 6 through Nov. 26.

An opening reception for “The Big Picture” will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and an artist’s talk will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, in Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture. The free exhibit is being held in conjunction with TRAC2012: The Representational Art Conference, which CLU is presenting Oct. 14 through 17 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura.

Steele is famous for his work as a painter and as an outspoken advocate for the role of fine art in modern society. “The Big Picture” is a selection of huge drawings made for two of his unique dome mural commissions: “The Circle,” a figurative composition with a diameter of 31 feet, and the slightly smaller allegorical work “The Soul of the Hero.” Known as “cartoons,” the drawings are made to work out problems of composition and form before committing to the painting. The renderings offer a glimpse into the working methods of a master artist. In 2009, the paintings won Steele the prestigious Artemis Award in Athens, Greece, “for celebrating the power and beauty of women through his art on a heroic scale in the modern world.”

Steele was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and began his art training at an early age in the studio of his father, renowned Russian artist Leonid Steele. He later studied at the prestigious Surikov Moscow State Academy Art Institute under internationally acclaimed artist Ilya Glazunov. He moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and continues to paint large-scaled figurative murals, commissioned portraits and California plein air landscapes inspired by the classical color palette of the Moscow School.

He is a signature artist member of the California Art Club and the recipient of the Silver Medal for the 1994 California Discovery Award. In 1996, he co-founded the Annual Russian Heritage Festival, which was presented at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano until 2005. In 2010, he received the Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine Award for Best Painting from the California Art Club’s 99th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition held at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

He and his work have been featured on two covers of American Artist, in a Los Angeles Times profile and in art and music publications including Southwest Art, Fine Art Connoisseur and Gramophone. He is founder of the Classical Underground, a unique performance platform showcasing the relationship between classical music and classical representational art.

The gallery is located in the Soiland Humanities Center on the south side of Memorial Parkway on the Thousand Oaks campus. Gallery hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Parking is available in the lots on Mountclef Boulevard.

CLU’s Art Department is sponsoring the exhibition. For more information, call Michael Pearce at 805-444-7716 or visit callutheran.edu/kwan_fong.