Glenn Downing Pulltight, Texas

January 13, 2017 – February 26, 2017 John M. O'Quinn Gallery

Glenn Downing sat on the back porch with Bud Powers and they talked about old times. Bud worked with and for Glenn’s dad in the fifties and sixties. Bud was dying of cancer so he could only smoke one cigarette a day. He kept a pellet gun by his chair to keep the squirrels away from his bird feeder. He was glad Glenn stopped by. Bud talked about how he and Glenn’s dad worked hard; sometimes getting pissed off and getting into arguments, which happened on a regular basis. Bud would just stand up and tell everyone he was “going to the house.” A few days later he would come back and start working again. Bud Powers was known for being contrary. Bud bought a place with some acres outside of Oglesby. He made a sign and put it up at the gate. It said Welcome to Pulltight, Texas.

This exhibition is about people like Bud Powers. Everything in it makes up a place inside Glenn. His Pulltight, Texas.

Glenn Downing was born and raised in a rural area outside of Waco, Texas. He taught at McLennan Community College for 16 years. Has a BFA from UT and a MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Glenn’s background is in sculpture and drawing. He lived in Austin, Los Angeles, and New York City. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in the island nation of Tuvalu. He worked for 15 years for the video artists, Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kubota. He makes art and ride mountain bikes. Even though Glenn has traveled all over the world he returned to Waco to live close to where he was brought up.

Glenn’s father was a farmer who started a street paving business so he began his life doing all sorts of manual labor. He worked alongside men with little or no formal education; men who grew up using their hands and got where they were in life by just working themselves to death. These men were a little bit crazy; they approached life on their own terms. They were individuals; not always correct in their talk or their manners but willing to get the job done and get on with life. As Glenn got older he became one of those men.