Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Tom Chaney: Alan Vance at The Gallery

Of Writers And Their Books: Conversations: Alan Vance at The Gallery. Tom turns to "Of Painters and Their Palates" and says that in viewing art what matters is that questions are raised. This column first appeared 26 September 2010.
The next earlier Tom Chaney column: The Plague of 1918

By Tom Chaney

Conversations: Alan Vance at The Gallery

Alan Vance, 46, of Round Bottom has hung his paintings in "The Gallery" at 109 Water Street in Horse Cave [note this occurred in 2010].

I reckon that ought to be enough said about any serious artist. We should welcome the chance to sit quietly with a work of art -- be it as representational as a photograph or as abstract as a dot of color. But often the viewer does not know where to begin when confronted with planes of form and color which seem to not relate to the reality the viewer knows.

Alan and I spoke of this among other things a few days ago when we fell to talking about his art and one's reaction to it.

"I want to provoke a response," he observed. "The response could be just a 'What is it?' or 'What the hell!'

"It's O. K. if they just scratch their head."

The usual representational picture deals with matters of perspective trying to lead the viewer into and beyond the two dimensional plane of the canvas. Vance, on the other hand is concerned with bringing the plane of the canvas toward the viewer.

The round dot of color may shield the nipple of a woman or it may be a balloon on a string.

What matters is that questions are raised; images are perceived; thoughts are followed without clear definitions.

Conversations begin between the viewer and the elements of the work; among the works themselves. Meaning is not necessary.

Think of dreams: "As is true with dreams," Vance notes, "juxtapositions may be interesting but the meaning is not always clear. In fact, it is often the lack of connection that creates interest and sparks curiosity."

And there are the hands.

Drop in. Ask for a chair. Begin a conversation.

[Editorial Note: Alan Vance's paintings were in the Gallery for the a few weeks. The Bakery/Gallery sadly is now closed.]

Tom Chaney can be found telling stories, planning his next meal, and occasionally selling books at
Box 73 / 111 Water Street
Horse Cave, Kentucky 42749
Email: Tom Chaney -

This story was posted on 2015-09-13 01:44:14
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by Linda Waggener and Pen Waggener, PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia Magazine. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.