The exhibition “City Journeys,” featuring watercolors by retired Hope College art professor Bruce McCombs, will open at the Muskegon Museum of Art on Thursday, Sept. 8.
There will be an opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 5 p.m., with an artist talk following at 6 p.m. Admission to the museum is free on Thursdays.
The exhibition will continue through Sunday, Nov. 6.
As described by the museum, “Bruce McCombs documents the soaring geometries, transparent glass, and reflected colors of the cityscapes in his highly rendered watercolor paintings. Inspired by photographs taken during his travels, these works reveal McCombs’ eye for the expressive possibilities found in everyday moments, using space and light to create elements of exploration and surprise. ‘Bruce McCombs: City Journeys’ features never-before-seen works, including multiple large paintings at a scale rarely seen in the watercolor medium.”
McCombs retired from Hope as professor emeritus of art in 2021 after teaching at the college since 1969. Early in his career, he focused on etching and printmaking, sometimes spending months on creation of an etching plate to develop depth and transparency. In the 1990s he transitioned to bold, bright, photorealistic watercolors and has worked extensively in that medium ever since, using gouache to achieve intense, saturated color similar to tempera and acrylic paint. His prints, drawings and paintings often feature architecture or transportation: vintage cars and motorcycles, planes, trains, and urban scenes he draws from photographs, including scenes of Cleveland, his hometown.
His work can be found in major U.S. collections, including in those of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. His work has also been exhibited regularly in West Michigan, including multiple exhibitions at Hope, the most recent of which was a 2018 solo exhibition in the college’s De Pree Art Center and Gallery.
McCombs earned his BFA at the Cleveland Institute of Art and received his MFA from Tulane University.
The Muskegon Museum of Art is located at 296 W. Webster Ave. in Muskegon. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays to 8 p.m. General admission is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens 65 and older, and $6 for children under 16, and free for Muskegon Museum of Art members. General admission is free for everyone on Thursdays thanks to The Meijer Foundation.