A colourful new modern art exhibit is now open to the public in Downtown Bryan.

The SEAD Gallery and Bookshop in Bryan opened up a new exhibit on March 21 featuring three artists’ works: John Krajicek, Dawn Winter and Cameron Sands.

Joan Quintana, the curator of the exhibit and director of the gallery, helped open the gallery six years ago.

“We opened it because, at the time in Downtown Bryan, there was no dedicated art gallery,” Quintana said. “We work in community and economic development, so we are trying really hard to make Bryan-College Station a place where people want to come and live and stay. Having cultural arts and creative venues for experiences is a really big part of that.”

According to Quintana, the gallery features a new exhibit every Third Thursday of the month. Displays are put together by Quintana and the staff, and depending on what they are showing, an exhibition will be art-based, science-based or engineering-based.

“We curate our exhibits based on our understanding of the market and what the market is interested in, in terms of the types of art we exhibit,” Quintana said. “Depending on the artists that come to us, we then have to put together a cohesive exhibit. For example, for this exhibit, we have three artists. It’s a group show. We have abstract art in this particular show, so it’s not realism.”

Chamber of Commerce ambassadors Ginny Ford and Selina Colwell were two guests that visited to view the new exhibit. Ford said she attends the gallery regularly.

“They always have fantastic artists on display here,” Ford said. “[This exhibit] is colourful, it’s vibrant, it makes me feel happy. And I don’t normally like modern art.”

The visit was Coldwell’s first time at the SEAD Gallery, and she said she enjoyed her time viewing the new pieces.

“My family is made up of artists, so we have a bunch of traditional-type art,” Coldwell said. “So I’m drawn to modern art just because it’s something that they’ve never done.”

John Krajicek ― one of the artists whose paintings were on display ― is a painter and an executive professor at Mays Business School who primarily teaches MBA students. The SEAD Gallery and several other places in the Bryan-College Station area have featured his work before.

“I am creating things that are hopefully interesting and compelling, but for aesthetic reasons,” Krajicek said. “If I have a purpose beyond that, it would be to remind people that art for art’s sake is worth it. I’m drawn to abstract art in particular because it often tends to be non-representational. The inability to get a handle on what it is really resonates with me.”

Rather than using paintbrushes, Krajicek prefers to use tools such as his fingers and palette knives. To him, painting is meditative and an excellent way to gain focus.

“I paint because I love to paint,” Krajicek said. “When I paint, I am totally in the moment, totally focused on what I am doing, not ruminating about the past or lurching into the future. It is me and paint and canvas. And that is very intoxicating.”

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