By Hayley Thomas
All the world's a stage for Al Schnupp, who plans to bring his favorite theatrical scenes, lines, and musings to life at Studios on the Park in April.
His forthcoming show, "Finding the Metaphor" opens on Saturday, April 6 and will feature a meet-and-greet with the artist, wine, appetizers and live music by local band The Monroe. The event is free and open to the public coinciding with the First Saturdays: Wine and the Arts series held from 5 to 8 p.m. throughout downtown Paso Robles.
"Finding the Metaphor" is comprised of Schnupp's assemblages and sculptures, all inspired by his love affair with theatre. A Cal Poly theater arts professor for more than two decades, it's no surprise that each work is more than what it seems: all are visual interpretations of classic, modern or original plays.
"I've been involved in art, painting and set designing my whole life, but creating an assemblage is an accomplishment," Schnupp said. "I use all sorts of materials, from crafted to found materials and objects to paper, paint, glass, plastic and metals."
Making the art itself is half study and half play for the artist.
Schnupp studies a script, trying to ascertain a number of elements: The theme, significant lines, the atmosphere, the objectives of characters and the relationships of characters.
"After determining these key elements, I attempt to illustrate them by using text, caricature, archetypal shapes and miniature scenography," he said.
The Pennsylvania native and longtime San Luis Obispo resident has been connected to the North County arts scene through Studios on the Park as well as the Shakespeare Festival.
The artist is a big fan and friend of Studios on the Park founder Anne Laddon.
"I have many paintings by her that I bought at least 10 or 15 years ago," he said. "I've always admired her work greatly. We stayed in touch, she's come to see a few of my plays and readings and I visit Studios on the Park quite often. Anne has done an amazing job, and the quality of the work is so high that it rivals any major metropolitan area."
Schnupp, along with Artistic Director of SLO Little Theater Kevin Harris and a number of Cal Poly theater students, will present a theatrical reading at Studios on the Park at 7 p.m. on April 20.
Also look out for a window display at Studios on the Park featuring large puppets, sculptures and set models to be installed during April. For more information, visit www.studiosonthepark.org.