Chartreuse held a reception and benefit with silent auction on Third Friday for the work of Rick Naimark, with all gains earmarked to benefit the Wurth House restoration project. This historic home has a long history in the valley, much like the history Naimark has with the city of Phoenix. Perhaps this commonality is no coincidence, but rather the likely cause for such a compelling exhibition.
The Wurth House has been a fixture in the community since it was built in 1911, despite its unofficial status as an historic asset. Plans for a new housing development put this notable home on dangerous ground several years prior, and it was slated for demolition in the spring of 2015. However, Art district proponents had other plans.
This benefit is one of many since the structure was rescued that were established with the intent to continue efforts to maintain this piece of the city’s rich art history. Much like the progress that has been completed towards that endeavor, the city of Phoenix has flourished under the sway of recently retired Deputy City Manager Rick Naimark. Now a resident of the Historic Roosevelt district, his solo exhibition The Great Escape marks a new era for the artist.
Already an accomplished musician, Naimark eagerly set his sights on visual art after his retirement and began his adventure. The product of which are his large scale acrylic works; gentle expressions of the mosaic of life and all that is contained within. Inspiration for this work stems from the artist’s professional and personal encounters as well as from his civic and organic environments.
Through reduced and abstract forms he deftly conveys the delicate cadence of the human experience. Naimark’s earthy and elegant piece “Calm” effectively honors its moniker. The soothing strokes of warm color against the strong graphic give a sense of harmony and grace, while its textural variance begs closer inspection. This piece and several others were spoken for prior to the show’s conclusion.
The artist’s double diptych titled “Disturbance”, and “Evolving”, perfectly complement the other. While “Evolving” brings to mind the vivid sunsets of the desert, “Disturbance” evokes a sense of controlled chaos, much like the pulse of the city itself. With vivid color and marks that effortlessly convey movement, the work is alive with energy.
Accessible and engaging, The Great Escape is a show to suit all ages and tastes. Naimark’s imprint on the community is easily witnessed in the civil arena, as the creative scene stands ready for the artist’s attention. With his caring approach and love for the city now channeled towards his art, one can expect to enjoy the fruits of this emerging artist’s endeavors for years to come.