TPCAC | P.O. Box 863 | Troy, AL 36081 | (334) 670-2287

The Visual Humor of Don Stewart

August 1 - October 26, 2014
Upper Level Galleries

Don Stewart’s artwork represents a body of visual humor, comprised mainly of his characteristic composite ballpoint renderings, plus a small collection of minimalist drawings, the ‘Mini Series’. The latter represent a literal interpretation of diminutive themes (Small Fry, Short Film, Little House on the Prairie...), each drawn to approximate one-eighth inch dimensions.

Stewart’s larger compositions are often straightforward visual puns, or thematic designs that embody a concentrated visual/verbal interplay, diffusing the oft-perceived barrier between art and viewer, and adding an interactive element to what is traditionally considered a passive, static experience.

Stewart’s composite drawings are intended to entertain, amuse, and educate. The variety of subject matter within these complex images reflects the artist’s multiple interests, and invites his viewers to consider a wealth of ideas that cross topics as diverse as music, medicine, sports, history and technology. Humor serves the important function of moving information imperceptibly past initial preconceptions and expectations, thus engaging the viewer, developing interest in new subjects, and encouraging discourse along unexpected lines.

 

D O N    S T E W A R T ' S    B I O

Don Stewart takes a humorously intellectual approach to art. His use of a ballpoint pen, a holdover from his academic past, accounts for the crisp detail in his whimsical drawings - black and white renderings that come alive with hidden images and visual puns.

Stewart earned an undergraduate degree in Biology & Art (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Birmingham-Southern College, where he enrolled in drawing classes as a break from his premedical studies. 

He continued to sketch as a hobby during medical school in Birmingham, Alabama, and throughout his surgical internship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  There, in addition to keeping a 24-hour call schedule, Dr. Stewart managed to win awards for short fiction and poetry, and successfully published his first two composite drawings. After a year of resident training, the pen finally proved mightier than the scalpel, and the young doctor’s creative interests gained the upper hand. He finished his internship, earned his medical license, and promptly turned his full attention to drawing.

For the past twenty-eight years he has made his living as a self-styled Visual Humorist, hammering words and pictures together at the DS Art Studio Gallery in Homewood, Alabama. Don Stewart is the author of DS Art: The Visual Humor of Don Stewart, and Past Medical History – Recollections of a Medical Miscreant.