Art in a Can

From WGIL radio:

There were all kinds of pieces of art at an annual event Saturday in downtown Galesburg, but other than the work of one Galesburg man, none that could be made with a brush and a couple spray cans of Rustoleum.

Greg Leibach is from the St. Louis area but came to Galesburg to attend Knox College where he later graduated, and is now an art teacher at Lombard Middle School. He was one of around 50 different people displaying their art at Saturday’s “Art in the Park” at Standish Park in downtown Galesburg. Leibach uses spray paint to create various types of portraits, working with them, in many cases, like one would work with normal paint.

Leibach tells WGIL he learned how to work with spray paint about five years ago, and almost gave up as soon as he started. “It’s very frustrating to try and manage the paint, and paintings can go wrong in a hurry,” Leibach said. “But, now that I’ve got five years under my belt, It’s a little smoother. I’m used to the process. I’m really comfortable working with the paint, and now I love it. You can make brilliantly-colored paintings in such a fast way.”

Leibach drew quite a crowd when making one of his creations yesterday morning, applauding his work when it was done. Leibach tells WGIL he uses spray paint in his art classes at Lombard, but not to this degree.

Also from the Register-Mail:

Dressed in a baseball hat, gym shorts, T-shirt and tennis shoes, Greg Leibach looks more like he’s heading to the gym than an art fair. But the paint on his shorts provides a hint. At the far end of Standish Park, a small crowd gathers around Leibach. A gas mask covers his face as he sprays bright paint onto a thin canvas. Beside him are other examples of his work, a tropical beach, the St. Louis skyline at dusk, sparkling stars of outer space — all created with spray paint.

Leibach adds tiny birds to the mountain sunset he’s working on using a folded piece of cardboard dripping with black paint. He quickly signs his name and holds up the finished painting as the crowd erupts into applause.

“It’s always more fun to paint in front of a crowd,” 23-year-old Leibach said. “It’s more exciting, especially if it’s for the first time with people who have never seen it before.”

Leibach, a 2008 graduate of Knox College and Lombard Middle School art teacher, started creating paintings with spray paint after seeing another artist use it while on vacation in San Diego.

“I like the fact that you can make a full painting really fast and everyone can sit and watch,” he said.