Hilary Gent Aurand’s Urban Cool

October 19th, 2012 Posted in Art, C Rae Interiors, Galleries/Museums/Exhibits, Gordon Square Arts District, West Side

“Eye Candy” Oil on canvas  2012

Before there was rust belt chic, there was Hilary Gent’s work. Back in 2005, when I first shared a studio space with Hilary, it took me by complete surprise to see these gritty, colorful works of art being created by this seemingly innocent artist not long out of college. The scenes were reflections of our studio’s rugged neighborhood, but it never would have occurred to me to consider them as subjects to explore in a painting. But explore, and grow, she has.

“Urban Landscape #4″ Oil on canvas

Hilary Gent graduated from Kent State University in 2003, earning a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree with a concentration on painting. She spent several years working in special events with Pieter Bouterse Studio in many creative capacities, always painting in her spare time. Occasionally she would admit that she wanted to one day own an art gallery, but I never took her very seriously. Didn’t every artist secretly want to do that? But Hilary doggedly worked toward that goal, moved into the 78th Street Studios with her new husband and began to invest her sweat equity into transforming a large, dirty, straight-from-the-factory space into the beautiful gallery that it is today. legation, a gallery was opened in April, 2009 and has hosted many art, music and special events since then.

And Hilary has never stopped painting.

“True Kings Only” Oil on canvas  2006

Her compositions contain details of urban life that most of us would walk right by. A billboard seen from afar at night. A deserted street scene that unexpectedly draws you in. The moon, as large as the sun, illuminating the dark blue sky and streets below. An urban landscape outline, complete with the telephone pole and wires. The almost desolate backdrops, although stark naked, still seem to have a ray of hope that all will turn out in the end. Color plays a large role in Gent’s paintings; they are skillfully balanced and stimulating at the same time.

“Visions” oil on canvas 2007


Your chance to see Hilary Gent Aurand’s work for yourself begins Saturday at River Gallery. Paintings by Hilary Aurand and Mosaics by Mark Yasenchack opens at 3 p.m. and runs through December 1, 2012.

Catch this artist now- she has many places yet to explore and much more to share with us all.

“recollection” Oil on linen  2012


“Yellow Fruit” Oil, pastel  2011

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