In this five-part series, we go behind-the-scenes with some of RPAC Gallery’s resident artists to learn about the inspiration for their Seeing 2020 exhibit artwork, now on display at RPAC Gallery. From quarantine to Black Lives Matter, emotional turmoil to natural disasters, each artist created amazing artwork that will be shown in the Gallery now through November 29th, 2020.

Today, we’re spotlighting Terrence Mahon, resident artist at RPAC Art Center & Academy. To view the exhibit in person, visit the gallery at 410 Main Street in Ridgefield, CT. To experience the exhibit from the comfort of your own home, take their virtual tour.

What was your inspiration for this piece?

The tragic event of May 25th in Minneapolis, the chilling, cold-blooded murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police officers, led to my sleepless nights. After watching the many nights of unrest across the country, I returned to the art studio filled with disbelief, anger, and creative disturbed energy.  I began drawing and sketching for days and at the end of my rage, my work revealed a 3-D angst-filled sketch of protestors in an alley which fueled the relief sculpture “Protest.”

“Protest” reflects rage and angst of everyday people in cities big and small. Another Black American was killed by the police. The expressions and body languages speak and say “what’s going on?” They gaze down at the crime scene in Minneapolis. The last 8 minutes of George Floyd’s life ground into the gritty asphalt. “Police line . . . do not cross” defines the problem. The conversation around race, social justice, police brutality, and accountability will not stop.

Understanding that art is often subjective, is there a takeaway you hope people come away with after viewing your piece?

The human scale, context, and brutality of the murder on the streets of Minneapolis.  An emotive and visceral reaction to one being hand-cuffed with neck and face being ground into the pavement.  Police Reform and redefining the role and behavior they hold in society.  The ‘protester’ relief sculpture captures the collective anger and the intention ‘enough is enough’.

How has 2020 impacted your art?

Like many other artists, 2020 has given me time to breathe and explore.  This time rekindled my interest in painting and the creative mixing of color.  The George Floyd installation has provided the opportunity to explore the development of a large piece of art leading to an installation.

What is your primary hope for 2021?

An end to the hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a return to the vitality of people and economies.  I hope that we do not simply return to the 2019 crazy, impersonal, and complex lives we once led.

Anything else you’d like to share?

As a product designer evolving my vision to art, I am introducing three-dimensional sculpture in the direction of interior wall art. Beauty, order, and meaning have been the core output to my design philosophy and process. My design direction is influenced by naturally occurring elements of light, wind, water, stone, and trees. The surfaces I create represent the beauty in the end state of what the natural elements have left behind.

My works are empathetic to interior architecture and décor, enabling versatility with the placement. A fuller collection of my work can be viewed:  https://www.rpacgallery.com/terrence-mahon

RPAC Gallery | 410 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT | (203) 894-5609