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You might say the art of local painter Gerome Meminger encompasses two sides. One is his fine arts side, where he’ll use small brushes to incorporate intricate detail to his pieces, sometimes spending weeks completing a single painting inside his Art By Gerome Galleria in Downtown Hampton.
The other side is his performance painting, where Meminger paints alongside a musician, possessing the soul of music on canvas as he whisks abstract brushstrokes alongside the rhythm of music, trading sound for color and note for stroke. When the spotlight shines on him and the music begins, he can complete an entire painting in the duration of a song.
A retired military veteran and Hampton resident, Meminger began composing his paintings to music at his studio on summer Saturdays when the city block party would happen in front of the gallery. One day he decided to bring his easel out to the street and paint on the spot. “I would go along with every beat,” he recalls. “My brushes would mimic the sound of the music.” These days he paints at many local gatherings and nonprofit events as well, allowing his art to be auctioned off to raise funds for organizations. He paints to any style of music, including jazz, rock, country, western and folk. “My favorite is jazz,” he shares. “It’s like abstract. It doesn’t have verses. It doesn’t have words. It has imagination.”
Performance Painter Gerome Meminger, Magic Shoes
Along with his expressive paintings, Meminger has authored two children’s books. In The Lonely Little Blue Book, a book is saddened that no one will check it out at the library because it only has one story to tell. “I wanted to write something that would inspire children to pick up some classics, dust them off and read some of those really good books in their library,” he explains. The premise continues in The Adventures of the Little Blue Book—Saving Pennies, Nickels and Dollars, as Gerome shows young readers the importance of saving half of what they earn. “It teaches family values; each book teaches life lessons to kids.”
As he draws on influences of music in an abstract style, Meminger’s creativity knows no bounds, a talent he attributes to his multi-colored, paint-speckled shoes. “I call them my magic shoes,” he says. “Once I put them on, I feel that I can paint anything.”
Make sure to save the date for Hungry Jazz on Canvas—The Gerome Project. On August 5, Meminger will paint abstracts while eight jazz musicians tell stories with their instruments at Ferguson Center for the Arts.
Meminger’s work can also be found at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, Blue Skies Gallery in Downtown Hampton and Richard Stravitz Art Gallery in Virginia Beach.
Originally posted by Coastal Virginia Magazine
It only takes about 5 minutes for Gerome Meminger Sr. to make a masterpiece.
The Hampton native is a fusion painter who combines his passion for art and music when he creates a work of art.
He will do it again Saturday for a crowd at the Ferguson Center. This time, he’s recruited top talent from across the world to join him in his latest project, “Hungry Jazz on Canvas — The Gerome Project.”
The performance will mix fusion painting and music to create various works of art as the audience enjoys food and drinks. Meminger said the show of artistic expression will be “a one-of-a-kind evening.”
“I paint along with the music and I try to make my brush strokes sync with the music and that’s really my instrument on canvas,” Meminger said.
Meminger will perform alongside local, national and international musicians including JP Lilliston of Against All Odds, Zac Hines of Fortresses, Jason Cale of the Jason Cale Trio, Jacques Jones of Osmosis, Dandrick Glenn of The Dandrick Glenn Band and Martin Blockson of Martin Blockson and The Connection.
Smithfield artist Brian Pinner, of Forte Band, and Hampton’s Duane Smith, of The Fuzz Band, will also perform.
The musicians will each play solo as Meminger paints at center stage inside the Ferguson Center. They will each perform original music inspired by jazz musician Miles Davis.
“I didn’t want to just do anything, so I challenged them to create a piece specifically for me, for this event, and do a solo,” Meminger said. “I just want them to say what they want to the world with their instrument. That’s their voice.”
Meminger will paint to the story of the song and the songs will be between 5 and 8 minutes each. All artists involved produced a CD of their original songs that Meminger said will soon be released.
His paintings will be decided live at the event. Meminger said he will feel out the moment, song and mood, then paint from there.
“The canvas is black and I will search for what I call the sweet spot on the canvas and after that I will feel the song, the flow of it and dive into the canvas,” he said.
Dancers will also be included in the performance and Jay Lang, a WHOV radio personality, will host the event.
Originally posted by The Daily Press
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