Self-taught dabbler in art gets his first exhibit in Genesee County

Oct 22, 2018

Andy Hare is a laid-back, golf-playing, guitar-picking, beach-combing retired firefighter.

He’s also a self-taught “dabbler” in art with his first exhibit in Genesee County, one that shows not only his proficiency at oil and water colors, but his sense of, well, the eclectic.

There’s Santa chilling out in a chair by the fire, a person holding a bundle of snakes in a swamp and a curvy blonde floating down a river on a pair of alligators. Or crocs. Not sure.

He’s got “normal” landscapes of the beach and the sky, a popular tower in an Albion cemetery and a few of Augusta National Golf Course.

All with a slight caricatury twist, something he may have perfected while serving at City of Batavia Fire Department.

“I’m self-taught and I used to do a lot of art at the department, doing caricatures of the guys at classes,” Hare, 63, of Elba said. “It graduated into watercolors and I got into oils when I lived down south.”

Hare lived in southern Georgia for a time before returning to Elba. where he grew up and performed in several local bands, including Trailer Jam.

He and his wife, Dawn, a glass blower with a studio at Corning, plan on moving to Dansville in the near future.

Hare was a member of a society of artists in Georgia, where he had exhibits.

This month, he has his first local exhibit, with his art adoring the walls of the Richmond Memorial Library Art Gallery until the end of October.

It took awhile but “they finally let me in,” he says.

Hare started getting serious about art about 15 years ago, perfecting his craft and making frames himself, to save on the expense of buying them at the store.

His frames match his art, colorful and stylish, though not in any “normal” sense of the world.

His humor comes through, too. Just take a look at his painting of Humpty Dumpty and figure out the punchline.

He didn’t plan an opening reception at the gallery, figuring it just as easy to set up and let people come through when they want.

And he wouldn’t mind making a sale or too, either.

“Everything will be worth more than I die, so now’s the time to get them,” Hare said.

(The gallery is open during the library’s normal hours, which are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.)

By SCOTT DESMIT, Batavia Daily News