“Dutch Treats” Opens at Ahh Gallery

On Thursday January 14 from 5 to 8 pm, the Art and History Gallery (The Ahh Gallery) at 120 East Main Street in downtown Louisville opens a show of artworks done using a mysterious technique from the 15th century. The exhibit, which runs for six weeks, features 30 paintings by Massillon artist Frank Dale, and his students. Dale graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute, and has had a lifelong passion for the work of painters like Vermeer, Rubens and Rembrandt. But unable to find someone to teach him how to paint in this style, in 1998, after retiring from Superior’s Brand Meats, he set out to teach himself. He was so successful that he has written a book about it called Art – A Search for Beauty: a Guide to Classical Painting Based on the Flemish Technique.

Dale developed an expertise on the Flemish Technique of 15th-century Belgium painter Jan Van Eyck. It’s a technique that involves executing a precise drawing on canvas or panel and then applying thin glazes of paint to achieve a transparent, luminous finish using a resin/oil medium. This process of painting produces unusual depth and brilliance of colors not possible with other oil painting methods.

Frank Dale has been teaching students how to paint in the Flemish style for nearly two decades. “Dutch Treat” features a sampling of works by his students who range in age from eleven to eighty two. In 2002, Dale had open heart surgery at Mercy Medical Center. Thirteen years later, he donated to the hospital a reproduction he’d made of the 19th-century painter William Bouguereau’s “Song of the Angels.” The painting took Dale more than 60 hours to complete.

The Ahh Gallery is part of 20/20 Vision Louisville, an economic development project of ArtsinStark, the Louisville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Louisville; which aims to transform three blocks on East Main Street downtown into “Constitution Place.”