“Colorful Canvases” by artist Ryan Dalgliesh is the latest Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council exhibit that spins a story about life, told through a collection of brightly colored canvases. 

The exhibit is on display at the River North Gallery and is open to the public.

“Colorful Canvases” features three collections, each offering a unique perspective on life and experiences. One wall of the exhibit features select pieces from a much larger collection, chronicling a journey through depression.  

“Each individual piece is incredibly well-done,” said CTFAC Executive Director Whitney Lee. “But they take on so much more meaning once you hear the story behind those six or seven canvases.”

Each canvas is a portrait of a ballet dancer. Dalgliesh said he reached out to several dancers, seeking permission to create a work based on a photograph of the dancers in motion.  

He said six granted him permission. The result is a stunning 25-piece exhibit journaling the human struggle with depression.  The beginning pieces are heavy and dark with the dancer blending into the background.  As the pieces evolve, they become brighter, more defined, with the dancer’s face and form visible by the last piece.

“What struck me is that, even if you’ve never had a personal struggle with depression, you can really gain an appreciation of what it must feel like to have that battle,” Lee said. “Struggling through this darkness that just surrounds you and finally breaking free on the other side.  This is what art does. It gives life to experiences and emotions when we have no other way of conveying what we’re feeling.”

Dalgliesh, a San Angelo resident and career artist, has worked to hone his craft over the years and has focused on using art to “tell creative and personal stories.” And while this current exhibit does employ his trademark brightly colored canvases, he said his newest pieces are going to focus on featuring historical people and moments in black and white.

An artist reception is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the gallery. 

The exhibit will be on display through June 30.

CTFAC has three other exhibits currently on display, including a collection of watercolors by local artist Pat Sharp at the Stephenville Senior Citizens Center; Student art by Allie Shaw at the Stephenville Public Library; and Ireland in the Fall photography by Julie Roberson at Clark Field Regional Airport.