The MAC Gallery has reopened after 18 months of closure, bringing with it a collection of thought-provoking and colorful paintings by artist Henry Stinson.

“We’re really excited” to open again, said Scott Bailey, Wenatchee Valley College (WVC) gallery director. “It’s one more step toward getting back to some sense of normalcy.”

The exhibit opened Oct. 1 and will stay until Dec. 15. The reopening comes as WVC students head back to campus and college activities start up again with the new quarter.

Henry Stinson, whose work is on display at the gallery, is a figure drawing teacher at WVC.

Part of Stinson’s artistic inspiration comes from his childhood. “I didn’t necessarily have a wonderful childhood,” he said.

Paintings of toys, many of them robots, are a theme of Stinson’s work.

An art piece on display, “Ghost in the Machine,” includes a close-up of a robot whose facial features could been seen as though they are blending with its toy body.

Stinson said his main focus now is figurative work. Another project featured at the exhibit is a collection of roller derby skater portraits.

“I paint from life,” he said.

Stinson commonly plays with the relationship between differing color temperatures as an artistic tool.

“Sometimes the colors will suck you in” and sometimes the imagery is a little too powerful for people, but that is OK, he said. “It’s part of life, part of change.”

One portrait on display is the “Riddle of the Sphinx.” Stinson said he came up with the painting idea when he was clearing out skeletons he had in an old art studio.

The painting is of a woman laying on a couch with a drink in her hand while skeletons can be seen below her. “Things seem perfect on the surface, but there are things hidden,” described Stinson.

Stinson generally hires a model and builds a set in order to make these paintings of people.

The goal is to evoke an emotion when looking at the work, whether viewers “hate it or love it,” he said.

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