Jeremy Wheeler reveals his softer side with a showcase of watercolors inspired by movies, music, and muppets at the Ann Arbor Art Center.
I vividly remember the first time I met Jeremy Wheeler. It was my 50th birthday, and we stopped at Woodruff’s in Ypsilanti to see The Muggs. It turns out this was the very first Fuzz Fest. One of my favorites is the image of Jeremy blowing into a liquid lightshow projector with his patented aviator glasses.
It wasn’t until the Detroit Urban Craft fair in 2014 that I learned that Jeremy is an awesome artist beyond running the liquid lightshow at Fuzz Fest. He had a booth set up to showcase his work of electric blacklight art which appeared on Fuzz Fest posters and t-shirts, as well as his own Bang! Dance party posters. I use the word “awesome” as his work inspires a sense of awe. In fact, I was so struck by his electric art that we hired him to design the art for a limited run of Life In Michigan shirts.
The Softer Side
As many of us experienced, the pandemic led to evolution and change. For Jeremy, the pandemic offered an opportunity to explore the world of watercolors. He took a class at Ann Arbor Art Center, dove into Youtube videos, and fell in love with the softer side of his art.
His previous high contrast and bold ink work has transformed into a growing collection of beautiful, evocative watercolor images. Jeremy’s Soft collection began with The Muppets. Seeing these prints, I was transported back to the whimsical magic of The Muppet Show.
The collection includes cultural personality portraits, movie scenes, and music. I especially liked Jeremy’s portrait of Governor Whitmer. Regardless of how you feel about her politics, this image is captivating.
The New Direction
Plenty of people were eager to talk with Jeremy, but we squeezed in a minute to say hello and ask what he was planning for the future. Jeremy mentioned that he is in love with watercolors and doesn’t see a return to the ink work. He explained that he enjoys the freedom that watercolors give him to create and explore. The ink-style work is very labor intensive. Watercolors take less time to create, allowing him to explore many more themes.
Regardless of the medium, I’m happy that Jeremy is out there sharing his talents with all of us. For anyone wanting to get more on the backstory of Jeremy’s work, I highly recommend this great interview with Jeremy from the Detroit Institute of Arts: Thursdays at the Museum series. There is even a short demo of Jeremy doing his thing.
We’ve got a few more pics from Jeremy Wheeler’s Soft Collection exhibit in our gallery. Please take a peek and let us know what you think. Leave a comment and show some love by sharing this post.
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