A 1998 Moffat County High School graduate with a flair for art is being featured at one of the Western Slopes largest galleries.
Troy Anthony DeRose, who will graduate this spring from the Mesa State Fine Arts program, is part of the art show "Gift," which displays paintings by DeRose and sculptures, ceramics and pottery by Christy Luree Brown.
The exhibit is being held in Johnson Gallery at Mesa State College, and will be on display through March 1. It will also be one of the final pieces of course work required by the two seniors.
DeRose credits his pursuit of art to the instruction he received from former MCHS art teacher Jay Peck.
"I've been interested in art as long as I can remember," he said. "I started out drawing things from comics, but I first really took it seriously in high school."
A scholarship recipient at Mesa State, DeRose said he enjoys making pieces that are surreal and psychological.
In the exhibit he is showing oil paintings, pencil drawings and prints.
Troy's father, Dave DeRose, said he is going to Grand Junction on Friday for a reception being held for the two artists.
Dave DeRose has several paintings of classic cars drawn by his son hanging in his office, although cars are not Troy's favorite subject for paintings.
"His preferred work is a little more abstract," the elder DeRose said. "He's grown into an artist who can paint about anything."
After graduation this spring, DeRose plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts Degree at Colorado State University.
Kate Monteith, publicist for the Mesa State College Art Department, said the students helped coordinate plans with the gallery for the exhibit, helped set up the exhibit, and also worked on the publicity aspects of the event.
"We're trying to teach them how to run a gallery exhibition," she said.
Monteith said most of DeRose's pieces are portraits of people he knows.
She said it is mixed medium work, because he incorporates large scale lettering into his paintings.
DeRose has worked at the Sign Gallery in Grand Junction throughout college, which may be how he came to incorporate large lettering into his paintings.
DeRose cited Dali, Magritte and Eischer as artists that have influenced his own work.
In addition to his artwork and employment at Sign Gallery, DeRose plays in a rock band in Grand Junction. He can play guitar, bass guitar and drums, his father said.
He is also a student staff member for the Young Life organization, which conducts several camps for youth in the Grand Junction area.
DeRose's exhibit runs Feb. 11 through March 1 at the Johnson Gallery in the W.W. Campbell College Center at Mesa State College.
The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.