“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” — Clarence Budington Kelland
Artistic talent runs deep in the Weber family. Mark is a highly regarded painter, and his son, Matt, is an accomplished photographer. In addition, both share their love of art through teaching at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood.
Despite their seemly parallel careers, the Webers have never shown their artwork together. Until now.
The Webers are exhibiting their artwork in a joint exhibition at St. Charles Community College’s Donald D. Shook Fine Arts Building, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in Cottleville, Mo. In addition to the artists’ reception, which is scheduled for Sept. 6 from 6-8 p.m., the community is invited to view their work in the gallery through Sept. 21.
Titled “Weber: Father and Son,” the exhibit features nearly 40 large scale pieces of work. Paintings from Mark’s “Special Intentions” series are hung side-by-side with photographs from Matt’s “Industrial Monuments” series.
Although both artist have exhibited their work widely, this show has a special significance to them.
“Matt is a talented photographer. His work is innovative and it offers a fresh, creative view into our environment,” Mark said. “I am proud of what he has accomplished, and I am excited to show my work with him. Not many fathers get to have this experience, especially not with an artist who is as creative and talented as my son.”
Matt said the biggest impact of having an artist for a father was the constant exposure it provided him to different ideas and perspectives. That exposure helped foster an inquisitiveness that led him to pursue his own career in art.
“From a young age, I learned to follow my curiosity,” Matt said. “In that pursuit, I found the darkroom, and it seemed like magic to me.”
While their styles vary, their bond as father and son has only been enhanced by their shared love of art.
“Mark is an exceptionally talented painter,” Matt said. “When I consider some of the content of his older work, his new work is especially interesting to me. He seems to be pushing hard at some sort of invisible boundary. The energy is palpable.”
Adding to their shared admiration of each other’s work is their joint desire to help cultivate other artists.
“My father has made the majority of his life about helping other artists and raising them up,” Matt said. “Maybe more than the art aspect, the example he has set as a father, an artist and a teacher has been an inspiration to me.”
About Mark Weber and His Work
The paintings in Mark Weber’s “Special Intentions” series are created with oil, acrylic and enamel on canvas. His work in this series is inspired by found objects.
The ideas of reconstruction have been influencing my work for many years. In a conceptual way, the objects are evolving from one direction to another, much in the way we change as our lives change. Found objects or plant forms are introduced as metaphors for this evolution. A found object performed as something when it was invented, served that function, and then was discarded and apparently finished. In my paintings, these objects are found and incorporated in the work or reconstructed to function as something else. Plants also go through a similar process as they grow, which begs the question, “Do they die at the end, or do they release their seeds for future growth?
Mark Weber holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master’s degree in fine arts from Washington University in St. Louis. He has participated in nearly two dozen solo exhibitions and more than 50 group exhibitions. Moreover, his artwork has been displayed in numerous public and private collections, including: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Ralston Purina, and Hunan Normal University in Changsa, China.
He has taught at St. Louis Community College for more than 20 years. Since 2008, he has held the position as professor and department chair at the Wildwood campus.
About Matt Weber and His Work
The photos in Matt Weber’s “Industrial Monuments” series are of various industrial plants. Each image in the show was taken at night on film with a 4-inch by 5-inch view camera. The exhibit provides context to the progress of human ingenuity.
Industrial plants are often located on the outskirts of our cities and communities, isolated from us while simultaneously manufacturing and producing the goods and materials we need to make our cities and communities thrive. My images are my way of exploring the duality of this phenomenon. The stark black and white tonality offers a sense of timelessness, while the long exposures offer some time to reflect alongside these monuments which, in one way or another, will shape our future.
Matt Weber holds a bachelor’s degree in photography from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and master’s degrees in both arts and fine arts from the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
In addition to working as an artist, he teaches art and photography courses at St. Charles Community College, Webster University and St. Louis Community College.