American Oyster Catcher | Oil on Canvas | 48" x 72" | 2010
Holiday Happy Hour | Oil on Hardboard Panel | 52" x 64" | 2010
Artist Statement: If balance is not achieved in nature, collapse, erosion, and extinction become a reality. This is also true in socioeconomic, physiological, and psychological situations. How do we balance our lives with technology so prevalent and our perception of nature becoming so domesticated or even nonexistent? This concept along with abstraction, gravity, and occupation are the overlapping themes driving my work. The embellishments and starkness in my imagery are juxtaposed to illuminate the polarizing issues of the contemporary era. By creating imaginative and surrealistic imagery, my paintings explore the perception of experiences rather than just reality.
Joel T. Dugan was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania in 1980. When he was young, his family relocated to South Florida, where he attended a performing arts elementary and high school. Joel received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan in 2002. In 2011, he received his MFA from The Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Art at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Joel is an accomplished visual artist and works primarily as a painter. He has an active national exhibition record of solo and group shows, and has completed numerous public art commissions, as well as multiple corporate commissions for intuitions such as The Ford Motor Company and the State of Michigan. Joel also works to cultivate community interest in public art and community projects throughout the regions he has called home. Influenced by the Regionalist Movement, the paintings of George Tooker and art of Lucian Freud, Joel is drawn to artists that document the human condition. He draws inspiration for his work from his life experiences and interactions with interesting people. Joel currently lives with his family in Hays, Kansas where he operates his studio and is Professor of Painting at Fort Hays State University.