Beyond The Tartan: Bill Fisher illuminates Porterfield

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Nina Williams Nwilliams@Radford.edu

There are several types of art in the world, some requiring classical training, and others not so much. I, however, certainly discovered some hidden art gems when I visited the Bill Fisher: Beyond The Tartan exhibit in Porterfield Hall. Fisher, a graduate of Radford University, had six of his paintings put up in one of Porterfield’s galleries. All six are abstract oil and wax paintings and were very impressive to behold.

Bill Fisher’s abstract paintings on display at the Porterfield art gallery.
Bill Fisher’s abstract paintings on display at the Porterfield art gallery.

One of my favorites, and the one that struck me the most, was Fisher’s “Little Boat.” This painting of a small boat includes gray and other cool colors that invoked in me a very somber, almost depressed feeling. The boat, in my opinion, represented someone that felt they were all alone, the world seeming gray and sad to them. However, there are other shapes that can be seen clearly, and others you can barely even make out, which is common in many other of Fisher’s paintings. But that is just my interpretation.

The great thing about art — especially abstract art — is that everyone sees it and experiences it differently. The painting “Little Boat” was definitely my favorite, and five other pieces of Fisher’s work are on display in the gallery. They are titled “Wasted Time,” “Parade,” “Greg with Ladder,” “Low Tide” and “Red Dots.” All of these paintings are wonderful and abstract, ranging from having many colors, such as “Parade,” to being darkly colored, such as “Greg with Ladder.” However, they are all wonderful and each work has its own charm and beauty about it.

Despite being a small gallery, it can have quite the impact on people, especially  other artists. It is quite an inspiring thing to see an RU art graduate become so successful that his paintings are selling for thousands of dollars! If you don’t believe me, just check the prices in the gallery. Although, that of course is not the point. The point is that one of our own has been immensely successful in something he is passionate about. This gallery is proof alone that, no matter how many people may laugh or scoff at your major, if you try very hard and are passionate about your work, you can be successful.

If you want to be inspired by Fisher’s work or maybe just enjoy amazing paintings, head over to Porterfield Hall, Gallery 205. It is really worth it and I definitely recommend going to see his work. Make sure to plan on going during the week between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., as the gallery is not open on the weekends.