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The public is invited to view the work of Curt BōD, the artist currently featured in “City Gallery” on the fifth floor of City Hall. BōD’s show consists of more than 20 pieces of his vivid, colorful streetscapes of downtown Puyallup.
BōD’s painting style, termed “folk art” by Smithsonian curation staff, depicts real places and real people, and alternates between whimsical (a bright orange sky) and exacting. Some of his pieces detail the time spent on a particular work, tracked via handwritten notes along the side of a canvas. Those hours can add up to 100—or more.
Interested in art since a young child, BōD’s influences include his art teacher at Rogers High School and Leonardo DaVinci.
"I drew my interpretation of DaVinci’s Code so kids could understand. How to dream, how to work with your hands. How to invent," said BōD. “I loved that guy and looked at everything in the school and the Puyallup library and the South Hill library. It freed me up. It was okay if it didn’t work at first, I kept going and now I see no end. So I just keep on drawing.”
For his Puyallup pieces, BōD spent many hours on sidewalks and street corners in the downtown, sketching and painting its buildings and populace. Often, those hours were punctuated by interactions with passersby and persons who frequented the area, many of whom came to be depicted in one painting or another. In this way, BōD’s works are infused with an intimacy borne of new, developing and ongoing relationships, and the friendly conversations and mutual appreciation shared between the artist and his subjects are apparent in the affectionate way he portrays them.
“I paint the history of Puyallup and the people here out of love,” said BōD, who resides on South Hill. “I’m doing what artists do. I’m shining the tip of the spear.”
City Gallery is curated by Arts Downtown, a local arts organization. The gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.