“Brian Buckles: Art for the Sea" at the Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy -- August 7 through 27.

Opening Reception: Friday, August 7, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Exhibit: Friday, August 7, through Thursday, August 27

Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy, 2967 State Street, Bettendorf IA

The mysterious beauty of our oceans and the creatures who reside there will be explored and celebrated on dry land from August 7 through 27, with Bettendorf's Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy displaying colorful, fascinating works by a gifted local artist in the new painting exhibition Brian Buckles: Art for the Sea.

Born and raised in the Quad Cities and a lifelong artist, Buckles has been professionally oil painting for the past three years. His art career spans nearly 15 years serving as an award-winning art director and graphic designer in the branding and advertising industry, and he is also a certified scuba diver and proud graduate of the College of Design at Iowa State University with a BFA in Graphic Design.

As Buckles explains in his Artist Statement: “As long as I can remember, I have been completely fascinated with marine life and, in particular, sharks. At an early age, I became aware of the overfishing and cruel shark finning practices that are threatening the survival of many species worldwide. Losing these animals will have devastating consequences. Most people won’t see these animals in their natural habitat, so my work aims to bring the sea to the viewer, focusing on the beauty, variety, and power of sharks and marine life. Dynamic compositions and dramatic lighting are brought to life through the use of oil paint, canvas, and graphite. My mission is to create Art for the Sea with the goal of using art to inspire others to learn more and engage in protecting these amazing animals.”

Brian Buckles' Sea Turtle

Unfortunately, many of Buckles' subjects are exploited due to poor management of their species, ultimately leading to huge population declines. Buckles states, “Art for the Sea is more than the title for a gallery show; it’s a mission statement. It is a reminder to me of why I am creating art in the first place – that my art should serve a purpose beyond mere wall decoration. My art serves to show sharks and marine life in a different light, moving beyond stereotypes and sharing the beauty and truth of creation. All creatures serve a purpose and deserve our respect and responsible stewardship.”

An opening reception for Brian Buckles: Art for the Sea will be held on Friday, August 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with face masks and safe-distancing measures required, refreshments served, and guests given the opportunity to meet the artist. Regular gallery hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and more information on the August 7 through 27 exhibition is available by calling (563)508-4630 and visiting BereskinArtGallery.com and Facebook.com/AtomStudioGallery.

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