Bob Dylan exhibit to open at Downtown Gallery

Kent State freshmen Kelly Cunningham and sophomore theatre studies major Jordan Euell ponder who they think this portrait by musician Bob Dylan might be. “I think it looks like John Henry,” Kelly said. Jordan then pulled up a drawing of Henry on his phone for comparison. The McKay Bricker Gallery on Main Street in downtown Kent is currently hosting the portrait series from Feb. 21 to Mar. 5.

Cameron Gorman

Bob Dylan is an artist in more than one sense of the word.

Considered a driving force in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, the singer-songwriter has been the recipient of 11 grammy awards, and has helmed a career spanning over five decades.

Beyond his widely renowned and long-spanning vocal career, however, he has also become an active contributor in the visual arts world.

“Almost anyone, in some way or another, at any age, has heard of Bob Dylan. But in that case, you get to see another side to that person”, said Kent State’s School of Art Galleries Director Anderson Turner, of Dylan’s artwork.

A series of Dylan’s portraits, titled “Face Value,” which debuted in 2013 at the National Portrait Gallery in London, are to be displayed at Kent State’s Downtown Gallery from Jan. 21 to March 5.

The portraits, rendered in pastel, offer a look into Dylan’s view of the world in images rather than through words.

“It’s a different voice — a different vehicle,” Anderson said. “In this way, it’s a little more vulnerable than his songs.This is pretty brave, for an artist who’s so established to go and show something else.”

Known for his poetic lyrics and ability to convey deep emotion through his work, Dylan has secured a place for himself as a revered musician, both professionally and among his fans. Anderson hopes the Gallery’s display can reveal a new perspective for the public.

“It’s a very different conversation. Music touches us in a very different way. He’s known for his songs… this is a very direct thing that’s deeply personal of him,” Anderson said.

On the first day of the exhibition, Jan. 21, there will be a reception from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery. The reception and exhibit are open and free to the public. The Downtown Gallery is located at 141 E. Main St. in Kent.

For more information, contact Cameron Gorman at [email protected]