The "Area Code 906" exhibit at the Bonifas Studio Gallery is Dennis Defek’s first show as an artist. He is the recipient of the 2018 Membership Show Award that included an individual show.
Dufek says the exhibit is a new transition for him as he shows what he has spent doing during his spare time. Dufek is a recently retired police officer.
He is a self-taught artist who has honed his skills in taxidermy, drawing, painting and carving through his love and keen observations of nature. His fish carvings are new for him.
“They take a lot of time. The piece that won the Membership Show I had over 200 hours into that one so it takes a long time,” Dufek said.
Dufek admits that the felt a little bit of pressure to put a show together. Most of the pieces shown are new.
“Because it was like ‘ok, you won, we’re going to do this a month from now.’ And I’m going, ‘Oh, I don’t have enough pieces.’ So I had to make sure I had 20 pieces done and I was able to get a bunch of them done on time,” he said.
Dufek said it’s hard to pick which area he likes working in best although most of his work includes painting.
"I like working best in watercolor, pen and ink and pencil so the majority of my work is watercolor and pen and ink,” said Dufek.
But he also likes to see the fish emerge from the wood. And the deer mounts from his home are special to him.
Dufek now his sights set on the Northern Exposure exhibit this fall. He plans to enter some paintings and wood carvings in the annual regional exhibit.
"We’ll see where it goes from here. Maybe it will be a great journey, maybe it will be ‘of well, I gave it a good try,’” he said.
Dufek’s exhibit will be on display in the Studio Gallery through Sept. 6.