Art of the Parks: Paintings of the National Parks by Fred Moss is on display January 13 to March 6 on the 8th floor of Harold Washington Library Center. This exhibit explores our magnificent national parks through oil paintings of scenic, historic and iconic locations. Moss' impressionist paintings are completed on location or, en plein air. Come see the exciting and fleeting moments nature has to offer through his dynamic paint strokes and vibrant colors. Moss' emotional works make a compelling case for the continued conservation of our national parks and the environment.
Postcards from the Parks Art Workshop, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. February 8, Room 8S-7: Fred Moss offers artists of all abilities a chance to illustrate their own postcards of our national parks. Sketch a drawing or paint a watercolor on a postcard, and mail it to a friend. Pictures of scenic landscapes from the parks will be available for reference.
The landscape has been the most integral part of my work for the last decade. I paint contemporary impressionistic landscapes in my studio and en plein air on location. My paintings are an emotional response to scenic landscapes.
I use oil paints to create textural paintings on canvas. Oil paints have a range of expression and versatility. I begin by finding a subject matter that moves me and stirs my soul. Then, I contemplate the design of the painting and simplify the shapes to create an interesting composition that draws the viewer into the painting.
I find my inspiration by visiting scenic locations. I’ve hiked mountains in Italy and our national parks to search for the best viewpoints. I grew up visiting the Art Institute of Chicago and often admired the outstanding impressionist and classical painting collections. As a result, my work is influenced by impressionist painters. For me, painting is a poetic interpretation of what I see in nature rather than a photographic copy.
Born and raised in the Chicago area, Fred Moss began drawing and sketching the world around him from an early age. He attended the College for Creative Studies, where he earned a bachelor’s degree. After graduation, he studied with renowned painter Romel De La Torre, who helped him convey his thoughts and feelings on canvas. He also studied at the Florence Academy of Art in his grandparents’ native country, Italy. There he found a subject matter that inspired him—the scenic towns and countrysides of Italy.
In 2017, Moss was commissioned to paint a public art “K9” statue; he created a Chicago Blackhawks-themed statue signed by the Chicago Blackhawks team. Proceeds went to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and PAWs Chicago. In 2014, he was commissioned to paint a public art “horse of honor,” which is dedicated to a Chicago police officer who was killed or injured in the line of duty, and which benefited the Chicago police memorial foundation.
In 2014, he had a solo exhibition, Impressions of Chicago Gardens, at Harold Washington Chicago Library. He has exhibited in several galleries and shows, juried and non.
In 2018, he received an artist residency at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, where he painted plein air paintings of the lake and taught a workshop for visitors to illustrate their own postcards from a scenic location.