Clinton Community College is exhibiting the artwork of Jesse Gabel in the Library Art Gallery through the summer. Gabel created the collection of drawings of baseball cards using markers and crayons. The pieces feature Babe Ruth, Satchell Paige, Jackie Robinson, and more. The CCC Library Art Gallery, located at 1000 Lincoln Blvd., Clinton, is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Gabel will share more details at the Artist Reception on Monday, June 24 at 4:30 p.m. in the gallery. The community is invited to attend this special event. 

Paige by Jesse GabelIn his artist statement, Gabel commented, “I have enjoyed ‘creating’ my entire life. From woodworking to painting and gardening to found object pieces, but I have most enjoyed drawing over the years. I have preferred drawing portraits, as the human face has so many unique features and interesting qualities and because none are the same. Although I have historically drawn black and white portraits using an array of hard and soft graphite pencils, I have always been intrigued by color. After much thought and consideration on how to combine the use of bold colors within my style and appreciation of portraiture, I decided that two other personal passions of mine, baseball and history, could be used as vehicles to create something intriguing.”

Gabel was inspired by the mid-20th century baseball cards with bold colors from a bygone era. He stated, “By using pre-expansion era baseball cards (before 1961), I felt I could create or recreate artistic snapshots of history and nostalgia that might draw people into a world of art they would not otherwise gravitate to. With this group of pictures I tried to capture not only the physical likeness of each card, but the essence of the era each represents.” 

Honus by Jesse GabelThe materials Gabel used are atypical for many artists, sharing, “I chose to move away from higher quality art pencils and supplies and focus on using lesser quality materials like Sharpies and Crayola pencils to manifest the strong colors portrayed in each baseball card. My goal with each stroke of the pencil or marker was to create something that was still of high quality but also pleasing to look at while using lesser quality ‘tools’ to do so.”

The exhibit brings America’s favorite summer sport into the library art gallery. Gabel said, “I feel like I was able to accomplish my simple goal of creating or recreating little, yet significant snapshots of baseball and United States history. Although I see this collection as complete currently as it is, my goal may be to add two to three more pieces in the future to be even more inclusive and representative of the time and place portrayed. In the end, my hope is that these simple recreations from a former time invoke joy amongst all that look at them and especially those fans of the national pastime that spent countless summer days collecting and trading baseball cards as well as those that still continue to delight in the hobby today.”

For more information, call Clinton Community College at 563-244-7001.