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Works by Easton painter Wayne Harrison Matthews will open the 2001-02 season at the David A. Portlock Black Cultural Center gallery, exhibiting Nov. 1-Jan. 3.

A reception for the artist will be held 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the center. The event is free and open to the public.

Before settling in California and now Easton, Matthews painted while spending much of his life traveling during military and engineering careers. “I have been given truly a marvelous gift – the opportunity to revisit my previous works,” he says. “Looking back on this body of work has truly given me a sense of freedom. I have been able to confront the drama and humor in my life, as well as the wonder.”

Two of Matthews’ main themes are “the heartbreak of homelessness” and “a whimsical look at jazz,” he says. “Music has always provided an inspiration. I hear an abstract sound, and I respond with color. As I listen and paint, I integrate the sound and note construction to deliver a message to the readers as they view my work.”

Commissions for Matthews’ paintings have come from Foster City, Calif., and St. Columba’s Catholic Church in Oakland, Calif. Some of his art has been on loan at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Gallery since 1993, and at New York companies B.P. Consultants and the Newberger and Berman brokerage firm since 1990.

Matthews has been a guest lecturer at James Madison University and the Art Institute of San Francisco, an art television talk show host, a panel member on the California Council on the Arts, and a guest curator at the Third World Art Exhibition in San Francisco, Calif.

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