Local artist’s work on display at library | Local entertainment

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SHERIDAN — The work of local artist Gaetano LaRoche will grace the mezzanine at the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library for the month of February.

LaRoche’s gallery is a conglomeration of abstract paintings and observational drawings. He also included two collaborative pieces of artwork he created with New York City artist and personal friend, Marina Gutierezz.

The gallery exhibits myriad bright, vibrant colors. LaRoche said his inspiration for the grouping of artwork was color. The exhibit features colors of the sun and the shades of a Wyoming summer.

LaRoche added he “grouped the pieces considering the space.” In the mezzanine he refrained from including some of his larger pieces. 

He also didn’t include any of his prints.

LaRoche said his artistic process differs between mediums; his paintings typically “begin with an idea” and evolve as he paints, whereas his drawings detail the flora and fauna from observation. Some of the drawings exhibited at the library include those of lilies, river and donkey.

“I love to observe and study nature and draw different trees and plants,” LaRoche said.

Conversely, his painting style has been inspired and influenced by famous abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky.

LaRoche revealed he had visited the library to pick up some books when he noticed the mezzanine was empty. After speaking with the library staff, they said LaRoche could display some of his pieces in February.

Denice Blank, coordinator at the Sheridan County Fulmer Public library added, “The mezzanine is a wonderful opportunity for community artists to showcase their art.”

While LaRoche is originally from Rhode Island and has lived in a variety of locations, including northern Montana, he is currently a resident of Sheridan. 

Enjoying the wide open and mountainous landscape of Wyoming painting, LaRoche said many of his newest works take inspiration from his new home. LaRoche added, because his artwork is heavily influenced by his environment, he loves to visit different places and experience a variety of landscapes. 

He said the way the sun sets and how light behaves looks different in Wyoming compared to other places like Rhode Island.

One of the pieces featured in the gallery, “Angel at the Rocks,” is an interpretation of Gabriel defeating a dragon. The scene has been interpreted and depicted by many artists. LaRoche admitted in the artistic process, the painting changed. Upon finishing, he recalled it looking more like an angel at the cliffside than a dragon and he renamed it accordingly.