Local artist displays work in first solo show

Dan Herro’s exhibit runs through the end of the month


Photo by Maryam Tunio

The exhibit, “Eventide,” means twilight or dusk, and all the pieces are inspired by wildlife and nature.

Dan Herro’s beautiful nature and wildlife paintings have taken a temporary home at the 10th Street Art Gallery located inside In Tandem Theatre on 628 N. 10th St.  The exhibit, “Eventide,” meaning “twilight” or “dusk,”opened Feb. 19 and runs through March 31

Herro started working on the paintings for the exhibit about a year ago when he was first asked to do an exhibit.

“The last four months before the opening I really was in the studio every night,” Herro said.

He balanced his jobs as the Haggerty Museum of Art’s head designer and preparator, father of two children and getting ready for his exhibit with some difficulty.

“Getting all the artwork done for it was probably the hardest part,” Herro said.

Luke Farley, the curator for 10th Street Art Gallery, said he wanted to show Herro’s work and give him an opportunity to display his pieces. According to Farley, Herro’s job experience as museum preparator helped him get in the right mindset for the exhibit. Farley said putting up Herro’s exhibit was the easiest he’s done in a while.

“Dan is a very talented artist,” Farley said. “He has the artistic ability to do whatever he wants.”

Herro said he never stopped painting since he graduated from college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in art.

“I used to paint a lot more before I had a full-time job and kids, but it was nice to have this exhibition to get back in the practice,” Herro said.

Although he has participated in group shows, this is his first solo exhibit. Herro said he focused more on color and feeling in abstract works in his early career, and believes he has translated that previous interest into “Eventide.”

“Over the last few years I’ve really been noticing how magical the time is, between the night and day,” Herro said.

He noticed wildlife going to sleep and other wildlife waking up, as well as colorful, gorgeous sunsets. Nature inspired him as he painted, and he attempted a tranquil vibe.

“I wanted to be able to capture (the colors) and be able to get lost,” Herro said.

Herro said his goals for the exhibit were to get people immersed into the scenes he painted and experience the same feelings of tranquility from the natural imagery. He wants people to enjoy viewing the exhibit as much as he enjoyed putting it together.

Herro has sold 14 pieces from the show so far.

“It was interesting to see which ones people really liked,” Herro said.

Overall, he’s had positive feedback from viewers.

“I think people are excited to see me get back into art,” Herro said.

“I think the most impressive piece is called “Eventide,” Farley said. “It’s the largest piece that’s really amazingly detailed.”

Herro said he wants to get back in the studio and keep up the practice of painting regularly. For him, painting is a therapeutic process. Art is an escape for him to forget about the stresses of his daily life and unwind.

“When I picked up a brush (the first time), I just knew I was (where I was meant to be),” Herro said. “I just really love painting.”