Tattoo inspires art teacher to pick up brush
All the elements seemed to weave, or rather bake, together for Gary Hinman's first exhibition in more than a decade.
The Eudora High School art teacher's show, "Toast to Lawrence," is at Wheatfields Bakery, 904 Vermont St., in Lawrence, until Oct. 7.
The show blends Kansas' reputation as the world's breadbasket, Wheatfields role as a bakery, and a breakfast staple ---- toast.
It all began with a tattoo, Hinman said.
A good friend of his, Chris Deman, had a tattoo of a toaster on her shoulder, he said. When it came time for her to leave the area, he felt he'd make her a going away present featuring a piece of toast.
He also chose the subject as a way to represent the farmers, he said.
His friend later moved back to the area and temporarily took a job as a manager of Wheatfields. When Deman returned, the idea for a series of toast-based pictures took hold.
"I started doing more and more of them with the idea that I'd try and get a show," Hinman said.
In all Hinman, created 22 finished pieces for the show, about 20 of which are being displayed. Six more have yet to completed.
His pieces range in both medium and subject matter. The only constant is the recognizable shape of a sliced piece of bread.
He tried to have fun with the subject, he said.
"It's been kind of an enjoyable process," Hinman said.
One piece, "Tic Tac Toast," uses a children's game, Hinman said.
"As I was getting it together, I looked at it and splashed three x's on it and called it 'Tic Tac Toast,'" Hinman said.
He also incorporates found art into his work.
The piece "Murphy's Law," began with a shiny wrapper he found on the street years ago with the name Murphy written on it, he said.
"I'm a collector of all kinds of junk," he said. "It's trash to anyone else, but I put it in my pocket."
Hinman also inserts messages into his art.
In a large black, orange and red piece called "Act Now," Hinman interspersed three rows of toast with messages against the war in Iraq.
"Those sort of subliminal things in pieces of art like this are like little rewards for people who look closely," Hinman said.
The show marks the first time Hinman has exhibited since the 1990s. He based an entire show at that time on knots.
"I think this is going to open up a lot of doors for me," Hinman said.