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Waco artist Russell Campbell accents works with color, music in ‘Ohms’ show

Waco artist Russell Campbell accents works with color, music in ‘Ohms’ show


Waco artist Russell Campbell used hard rock music as the background to his latest set of paintings, “Ohms: A Showcase Of Sound & Color,” at the Susan Sistrunk Fine Art Gallery.

Those who go to see the latest show by Waco artist Russell Campbell might bring their phones and not just for selfies.

Each of the pieces in Campbell’s “Ohms: A Showcase of Sound & Color,” on display this month at the Susan L. Sistrunk Fine Art Gallery, has a song linked to it, one accessible through a Spotify link under each title.

While those enjoying the strong colors, lines and overlays of Campbell’s canvases enjoy one sensory dimension of his show, others will catch a second through a playlist of metal and rock songs from the Deftones, Crosses, The Palms and Team Sleep.

The band connection also explains some of the paintings’ titles, with “The Passportal,” “Koi No Yokan” and “The Spell of Mathematics” borrowed from songs and albums with those titles.


Russell Campbell’s mixed media work “Great Expectations” was part of this summer’s Goon Squad exhibit at Rogue Media Studios.

The “Ohms” of the exhibit title, too, has a sonic connection, Campbell said: the sound of creation according to Buddhist thought.

Campbell’s show in the front room of the Sistrunk gallery spans about a dozen paintings and approaches from abstract spatters of vivid colors to stricter geometric lines and patterns, frequently mashed up in the same work.

Several of the pieces feature Campbell’s work with a wedge and a palette knife, layered with spray paint or outlined with paint pencils.

“I don’t want to pigeonhole myself,” explained Campbell, whose most recent works have appeared in public shows this summer by the free-wheeling Goon Squad Collective artists’ group. Others, including “Frontiers” and “Arrival,” were the result of live painting done at the Waco bar Klassy Glass, now Stay Classy Waco.

The canvas catching the most eyes in “Ohms” is “The Spell Of Mathematics,” with its profile of a woman’s head complete with stylized rose above an ear, its red-dominated palette and layers of contrasting images and patterns Campbell said were inspired by the trash polka tattoo style.

“Ohms” will run through September, joined later in the month by Sistrunk’s own show “Into the Mystic.” Campbell will be on hand at the gallery on Saturday for “Beyond the Veil: A Night of Mysticism & Healing” which will feature tarot card readings and reiki healing from 5 to 8 p.m.


"The Grid" (top) and the triptych "Patagonia" show Campbell's eclectic experiments in form.

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