“Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot”
September 15, 2013: 1 p.m.
The Unveiling and First Public Viewing: “Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot,”
a major painting by one of America’s foremost Trompe l’oeil artists and Nutley resident Gary T. Erbe
Leading American artist Gary T. Erbe will premier his new painting “Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot” at the Nutley Museum at 1 p.m. on Sept. 15. Following a one-day viewing at the museum, the painting will be shown for six weeks at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, and then will travel to The Phoenix Art Museum and other museums throughout America.
“Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot” is a large and important new Trompe l’oeil painting that reflects on the life of Annie Oakley, the famous sharpshooter who made her home in Nutley from 1892 until 1903. The composition depicts several of Oakley’s guns, old Nutley publications, iconic images of Buffalo Bill and other historical figures, and even one of the sawdust-filled glass balls that Oakley would shoot from the sky during her sharpshooting demonstrations. A portion of the Erbe painting is reproduced at right.
“The Nutley Historical Society was proud to lend one of Oakley’s pistols and other materials to Gary for possible inclusion in his composition,” says Barry Lenson, Art Director of the Nutley Museum. “I was privileged to visit his studio several times over the last year to see the painting in process. It is an extraordinary work that resonates on many levels. It is a reflection on Annie Oakley’s life but is also Gary T. Erbe’s offering of gratitude to Nutley, his new home town. Its unveiling will be the greatest artistic event in our town’s history.”
In explaining his inspiration for the painting, Gary T. Erbe explains that, “In 2009, my wife Zeny and I purchased a home in Nutley, New Jersey. I soon learned that the block we moved to, The Enclosure, was for many years an artists’ colony. Another discovery that fascinated me was that Annie Oakley and her husband Frank Butler lived on Grant Avenue, only three blocks from our home. They built a house there in 1892. In her later years, she moved to Greenville, Ohio, where she passed away in 1926. After reading her biography, I was so touched that I decided to create a painting as a tribute to this remarkable woman. She was an inspiration to all Americans.”
Gary T. Erbe continues to actively paint and exhibit. To learn more, visit www.garyerbe.com.