The paintings of Wes Van Dyke, an Agoura Hills resident, were showcased at the Reyes Adobe Historical Site during the month of February as the kick-off to the Art @ the Adobe Solo Artist Series presented by the Agoura Hills Cultural Arts Council (CAC).
“Wes was the first artist chosen by the CAC for the One Man Show because of his long-standing participation and support of events held at the Reyes Adobe Historical Site, especially Reyes Adobe Days each year,” said Zach Miller, recreation manager for the City of Agoura Hills. “The CAC hopes to use this show as the first of a series that they can support going forward.
The 29-year-old artist said he is “honored” to represent the local arts. “Everyone in this community has been so supportive,” said Van Dyke, who was the co-grand marshal with father Barry Van Dyke for the 2010 Reyes Adobe Days parade.
Van Dyke said he’s been painting since he was “old enough to hold a paint brush” but began to receive recognition while in high school.
In 2008, he was chosen as the featured artist for the Malibu Art Festival.
Van Dyke, who said he primarily gets his inspiration from nature, describes his technique as versatile. “I try to make my work as realistic as possible, but I’m adaptable [in terms of style], and I like to paint all different kinds of scenes,” said the artist who cites “Backward Hollywood Sign” as his most popular piece.
Van Dyke said he mainly focuses his vibrantly painted landscapes on scenes from the West, having been inspired by his many travels as a teenager.
Currently, his favorite work is “Tree Path,” the first in a series, which depicts an autumn-hued forest pathway that leads up and over a hill and into the horizon.
“Everybody who sees it comes up with a different emotion,” Van Dyke said. “Some people think it’s religious; some think it’s a little spooky. I love the idea behind it. You wonder, ‘What’s around the corner?’”
Both Barry and Wes’ grandfather, actor Dick Van Dyke, were in attendance at the opening night gala held at the Adobe barn on February 7.
Hosted by The Sheri Karp Group, the event brought out art patrons from as far away as Marina Del Rey. Van Dyke sold three original pieces and 25 prints, according to event organizers.
“It is the goal of the CAC to bring attention to all local artists in a variety of ways, including events such as the One Man Show,” Miller said.
In addition to painting original pieces, which he said primarily come from his imagination, Van Dyke takes commissioned work.
The ongoing solo series will showcase local talent in exhibits throughout the year at the Reyes Adobe Historical Site. For more information, go over to the Cultural Arts Council’s website at 91301.org.