Tucked in the Cordata neighborhood in north Bellingham is a place where color, form, and exuberant expression do battle with the rainy day and emerge triumphant. Gallery Syre is the home of artist David Syre’s collected paintings, drawings, and sculptures, including his current exhibition of new works.

Syre’s journey as an artist has been a cyclical one. His creative process was already present in childhood: one of the first paintings you see as you walk into the gallery is a watercolor Syre painted at age seven. Syre grew up on a farm in Everson. After law school and a brief career as a lawyer, he became a real estate developer.

“Symbols of Compassion,” 2019. Photo courtesy: Gallery Syre

He has not always had the time or luxury of painting large canvases or drawing in his sketchbook but has shown his artistic creativity through many different mediums at many different times. Now, later in life, he has turned back to art in its purer form. His life is a testament to his philosophy, his spirituality, and the art that is at the center of it all.

Syre is back living on the farm where he grew up. He now spends many hours a day in his studio there. The land and the Nooksack River that runs through the farm deeply inform Syre’s work. His works are not necessarily landscapes, but his surroundings impact his art significantly.

Gallery-goers admire Syre’s work at the opening of his current exhibit. Photo courtesy: Gallery Syre

Syre’s creative process is organic. He paints very intuitively without any premeditated concepts. Rather, he’s driven by emotions and internal impulses. Through a regular yoga practice and active participation in the Burning Man community, Syre constantly nurtures and enriches his inner world and elaborates on these experiences in the form of painting, drawing, and sculptures. The idea of “oneness” that is at the heart of Burning Man also pulses in Syre’s creations.

Syre’s work is vibrant, symbolic, and charged with color and movement. His current work, on display at the gallery, tends towards the minimal, hides a precise narrative, and inspires contemplation.

“Life on Mars,” 2019. Photo courtesy: Gallery Syre

In Gallery Syre, I stand in front of Self Portrait with February Spiritual Code, Syre’s 17-foot-tall painting that was hand stretched on site by Paul Hemminger of Bellingham FrameWorks. It covers an entire wall of the gallery, its colors and shapes so striking, so simple, and so singular that I find myself drawn to it.

This response isn’t unusual. Syre’s works invite the viewer to take a moment to rest and reflect, to momentarily let go of all thoughts and expectations. People enjoy his art rather than consume it. Like a meditation practice—you must let go to engage in the experience.

Gallery Syre is intended not only as a commercial gallery, but also as a space for gathering, sharing, and coming together. David Syre likes to offer his space to the community whether it’s with the art itself or as a place for experimentation. He’s also invested in public art and sculptures and is very concerned with the communal aspect. His ideas for the year 2020 include hosting field trips for local students, open calls, and other community events.

Creativity is about making connections. Photo courtesy: Gallery Syre

And while Gallery Syre supports local engagement, David Syre’s work is inherently influenced by his international scope and career. He has shown internationally in Nice, France; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Hamburg, Germany; and Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as in Santa Fe, New Mexico, New York, and most recently in Miami, Florida.

Syre and “Self Portrait with February Spiritual Code.” Photo courtesy: Gallery Syre

He is currently also working on the Peace Trail, a trail in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. The Peace Trail is a land art project that is meant to be a message and an offering of peace to the land and its indigenous people. It will encourage travelers to undertake a spiritual journey of contemplation and meditation as they travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at the end of the world.

If you want to experience these works of art for yourself, Syre’s current exhibition ‘David Syre: New Works’ will be on display until February 29, 2020 at the Gallery Syre. For more information, please email info@davidsyreart.com or call 360-746-8745. David Syre’s website is: www.davidsyreart.com.

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