During the month of September, a series of paintings by Jim Maronek is on display at The Viking in Ellison Bay, paintings which Maronek characterizes as “activist art,” aimed at reminding the public of the value of rural roads in Liberty Grove.
Jim Maronek served on a Town of Liberty Grove sub-committee which developed the newly-approved Heritage Roads Program. Now, he hopes that if a picture is truly worth a thousand words, then his exhibit might speak volumes. Each of the ten paintings now on display at the Viking is rendered in a different style and none of them are meant to be literal images of specific roads.
Rather, the special character of Liberty Grove’s tree-lined roads is expressed in a wide variety of stylistic disciplines but all share a common theme. The Viking Restaurant is located in downtown Ellison Bay where you don’t have to be an art-lover to enjoy a great meal, but lately it helps.
“As you enter the restaurant, look for the provocative display on your right,” Maronek says. “Observe the ten paintings which express what we stand to lose. Then, have the corned beef hash.”
Jim feels that he is having an impact as expected and that his paintings recently garnered some of the highest possible praise from a group of “discerning critics.”
“It seems that a group of early morning gentlemen gather regularly for coffee at The Viking counter,” Maronek explains. “They expressed dismay at either the quality of my art or the message it conveys – or perhaps both. I take this to be a great measure of success, since ‘activist art’ is meant to stir men’s souls, not their coffee.”
Directly across from the counter where these flatlanders sit, Maronek has posted a statement relating the paintings to the Heritage Roads Program. And next to that is a painting which expresses the destruction of roads about to be “improved.”
“Unfortunately, I am unable to verify the presence of this art-appreciation study-group which meets at dawn,” the noted artist mourns, “since it would involve my rising earlier than can be reasonably expected.”