Beauty in the Dance

Today’s blog post was written by guest author, and CPLS Senior, Emma Nasseri.

There is no doubt that Mike Henry knows what he’s talking about when it comes to art. Mr. Henry has been teaching Cair Paravel Latin School students the beauty of visual art for almost thirty years. His new show, titled “Ballet,” is currently on display in a local gallery as proof of Mr. Henry’s skill and eye for beauty.

This exhibit, which will remain on display at Beauchamp’s Art Gallery until mid-October, features a collection of original oil paintings focused on ballet imagery. Mr. Henry chose ballet dancers as the subject of this show because he wanted to paint the human figure and believes that ballet dancers have most potential for beauty in their graceful and precise lines and angles. Mr. Henry is a skilled oil painter, and his love for the medium is evident in every brushstroke. “Oil paint is to art what a piano is to music,” he says, referring to the ease with which oil paints allow the painter to reach the full range of value and color. Oils enable the artist to hit deep, dark colors that they cannot reach with other media.

Of the paintings in the show, Mr. Henry’s personal favorite is set in an urban setting in Athens, Greece, inspired by the CPLS school trip he helped chaperone in March. In this piece, a ballerina graffitied onto the side of a building, floating above the bustling life of the city. To Mr. Henry, this piece was most true to art than any other, as it most purely reflects his love of loose impressionism.

Mr. Henry would encourage viewers to pay special attention to the paintings that they are personally drawn to and wonder what element of beauty connects them to it. “I put everything out there on the canvases,” he says, “so find beauty where you can.”