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Thursday, May 5, 2016

BV artist fired up about creative coloring book

Monday, March 24, 2003

Aaron Baluczynski loves Buena Vista University - so don't read anything into the title of his art show, "Old Main Burning: A BVU Coloring Book."

"I like the juxtaposition of things, such as taking something structured like BV and adding something that is silly or childish," said the senior BVU student.

And while the title of his senior art show may raise a few brows, he hopes viewers see the fun in it all.

"It's not intellectual - there's a silliness to it," the Eagle Grove native said.

And yes, there will be coloring books available for purchase, too.

For Baluczynski, finding humor in the ways of BV life is nothing new. He's the editorial cartoonist for The Tack, the campus newspaper. In fact, his weekly series, "Old Hat," helped develop the idea for his art show.

"I like to do stuff that is funny and silly, and a lot of my art has childish aspects as well as adult aspects," he said.

For his art show, Baluczynski has 10 ink drawings taken from the coloring book. Those drawings will be colored using crayon.

Baluczynski's art isn't necessarily about technical skill or technique.

"Painting requires a lot of skill, this is something you can do quickly and feel good about. It doesn't have to be perfect," he said.

Line art is a good fit for Baluczynski, who relies on the illustrative qualities for his other passion - web site design and development.

He's designed a good deal of sites, from the one for "Old Main Burning" to the BVU President's Report and the BVU Science Center site.

Baluczynski first jumped into web design work five years ago, when he and some friends made their own movie. The movie wasn't any good, Baluczynski said, but to promote it they decided to make a web site. That work fell on his shoulders and it was something that really appealed to him.

"I really enjoyed it," he said.

After his freshman year at BVU, Baluczynski got an internship with the public relations office there where he did a lot of web site work. Now he hopes to pursue that field after graduation.

Baluczynski feels his wide range of interests fit together quite well.

"There's commercial art which is about satisfying your clients and yourself with a good project, while fine art is about an idea or humor. I want to have fun with art and not be confined by traditional standards, but I don't want it to be shocking."

The idea for "Old Main Burning" springs from that well, where Baluczynski has taken BV lore and played around it.

To figure out what icons to include, Baluczynski did some research by reading Bill Cumberland's "History of Buena Vista College," and drew on his own experiences as a student.

"The show is a mixture of history and more timely stuff," he said.

From the destruction of Old Main to Baluczynski's vision of BV's future, he hopes people see the humor.

"I hope people think it's funny," Baluczynski said. "When you walk in, I kind of hope you're surprised and think, 'Oh, interesting,' or, 'What was he thinking?'

"And hopefully you'll want to get a coloring book," he added.

The Buena Vista University Art Gallery presents the senior art exhibit of Aaron Baluczynski from April 1 to 12. The community is encouraged to attend. A reception and coloring book signing will be held April 1 from 4-6 p.m.

For more information on the art show, visit www.b-ski.com

/oldmainburning/ or contact Aaron Baluczynski at 712-749-3871 or Gallery Director Mary Mello-Nee at 712-749-2143.

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