The sandy beaches of Hawaii, California and Florida served as artistic inspiration for Fort Lauderdale resident Christian Feneck. When his father was in the hotel business, Feneck’s family moved often, but each location offered not only picturesque scenery but his beloved art classes. “Wherever we moved, my mom was sure to sign me up for art classes right away,” he says. “She said that I was always building, drawing and making a mess!”
Last spring, Feneck shared his experience as he returned to the Emergent D.B.A. 2014, Doing Business As… Exhibit at gallery six at the Broward County Main Library as a curator. This was the sixth year of the exhibit and Feneck joined fellow co-curators Beju and Sherryl Muriente. Exhibiting artists included event founder Virginia Fifield, Yves Gabriel, Donna Haynes, Jacklyn Laflamme, Tina LaPorta, Ernesto Masis, Terry Mulrooney and Joanne Urban. Funded in part by the Broward Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, this exhibit is an annual celebration of the graduates of the Broward Cultural Division’s Artist as Entrepreneur Institute (AEI).
Feneck’s artistry, as well as his passion for building, drawing and painting, led him to what he calls “the natural progression” towards a career in architecture. However, as he worked on his college thesis for his master of architecture degree at the University of Florida, for example, he would paint in the mornings to get himself moving and motivated. “Painting became a ritual for me, getting me ready to work and it was really feeding my thesis, so I ended up incorporating it,” he remembers. The focus of his thesis was “the visual perception of movement through space,” a theme that guides his painting. Feneck also studied in Italy at the Vicenza Institute of Architecture.
“When we design in architecture, we design everything perfectly, but that’s not what humans see from an eye-level perspective,” he explains. The disparity from perfection to perception is what intrigued Feneck and encouraged him to continue painting in his off hours. However, eventually the art “took over.” He found himself pursuing it as a full-time career, although he still gets to work with architects.
At first glance, Feneck’s paintings may appear to be more about color than architecture. However, he uses his architectural “building” skills as he creates each work. Often beginning with just one color, he adds many layers to create color interactions. By adding these brilliant layers, he creates movement, depth and space. Feneck often works on a grand scale: recently in FAT Village; or as an Allied Artist with the artist Laurie Lundquist on the flooring of the work-in-progress of the Pedestrian Bridges Project at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport; and in an upcoming solo exhibition at the Tedd Davis Gallery in Wilton Manors.
For more information about Christian Feneck, visit www.christianfeneck.com. For more information about the next exhibit of the graduates of the Artist as Entrepreneur Institute, Doing Business As (D.B.A.) 2015 Retrospective, to be held at ArtServe from June 6 to 29, 2015, please visit www.artscalendar.com