This month’s exhibit at the Gallery at the Park in Richland is presented by Michael Boynton and Steve O’Shea. It epitomizes what makes the art world so imaginative and unique. Bring your whole family for a fun day at Howard Amon Park, and be sure to stop by the gallery to enjoy Boynton’s “Robots” exhibition and O’Shea’s “Kid’n Around Cover Art” show.

For the past 13 years, Boynton has taught art classes at elementary and middle schools throughout the Richland area. He works with his students on a “Robots” project, where they create found-object sculptures. Boynton and his students also discuss robots in history, news and pop culture, and they contemplate various philosophical robotics questions such as:

  • “Can robots replace humans?”
  • “Will robots become self-aware?”
  • “Do robots have rights?”

As society continues to develop technological innovations, these questions become more and more relevant. Boynton cites an economic report from 2016 in which the Obama administration predicted that 83 percent of future low-wage jobs (paying less than $20 per hour) would be replaced by automation.

“One area of concern is the use of robots for military purposes and enforcement of political ideologies,” Boynton said. “A portion of my art in this show attempts to struggle with that question and the morality surrounding it.”

For the exhibit, Boynton presents his Victorian-inspired steampunk work. Steampunk describes a subgenre of speculative fiction that takes place in an alternate history where technological advancement happened sooner. Boynton has created a series of unique steampunk sculptures that depict robots doing jobs from the 19th century.

The other portion of the gallery showcases the art of Steve O’Shea, an illustrator, graphic artist, watercolorist and architect from Portland. His watercolor images appear on the covers of Kid’n Around, a Seattle-based monthly publication for children.

The Gallery at the Park show features more than 30 of O’Shea’s original Kid’n Around covers, each one unique, whimsical and filled with bright colors and hidden details. O’Shea uses watercolor, colored pencil and ink to create these beautiful works of art. The themes include imagination, learning, play, oceans, friends and heroes.

Boynton and O’Shea’s exhibit will be on display from through April 28. The reception will be held on April 2 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Adult workshops

On April 7 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Felicia Follum will hold a “Tipsy Wine Glass Collage” workshop. She will discuss layering and composition, and she will teach participants creative collage techniques.

View the archived April 2017 issue of The Entertainer