Two of Don Gore’s recent coups are enough to make any artist jealous. The Virginia Center for Architecture has his sketchbook under glass as part of its Urban Sketchers show, and a New York dealer has been working on how and when to incorporate his pieces into an exhibition.
Not to mention his solo show at Kansas City’s 19 Below, a media production company at 5 W. Ninth St., beginning Friday.
However, Gore, vice president of the creative division at Kendal King Group, is modest about his artistic success.
Strolling through the square in Independence one morning seven years ago, not far from his home, an ad caught his eye. Taped to the window of an art shop was a flier for a watercolor class, something he’d been curious about. He had just turned 50 — now or never, he thought.
After three classes he was hooked. And he probably wouldn’t admit it, but he discovered he was talented.
“It’s my passion and my therapy. While I’m painting, the rest of the world goes away,” he explains from behind his desk at Kendal King. His white hair is close-cropped, and his business casual dress does not scream “artist.”
When asked whether anyone has told him his work resembles Andrew Wyeth’s, he quickly replies, “Not sure that’s fair to Andrew Wyeth,” but yes, he’s been told.
He has posted his work on Instagram and Pinterest, but isn’t overly interested in promoting or selling it. In fact, he has given away more paintings than he has sold.
Painting is his love, not his job, and he wants to keep it that way.
“I have the freedom to just be me,” he says, “and not worry about what other people think.”
Reach Anne Kniggendorf at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don Gore First Friday reception
19 Below, 5 W. 9th St., 5-9 p.m. July 3