Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tri Kappa Art Show

December gallery at CDPL As we enthusiastically welcome the awakening freshness of spring, so too, we eagerly welcome the awakening fresh possibilities available to Montgomery County's high school art students, in the spring of their lives. From winter hibernation, eclectic expressions of original ideas, raw energy and talent have erupted from fertile imaginations and are presented for your viewing pleasure in the Public Library's Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery from Saturday, February 24 until Sunday, March 18, 2007. Come often, stay long, and enjoy new facets of the exhibit on each visit. Through the financial and volunteer support of members of Crawfordsville's Tri Kappa Sorority and the encouragement of county high school art teachers, we are again able to present this annual exhibit. These dedicated women and gifted art teachers go out of their way to support talented young artists and provide for them a venue in which to display their work without the grueling process of having to be juried into the exhibit. Every student who has the desire and tenacity may enter pieces into one or more of the following fourteen categories; Ceramics, Communication Arts, Graphic Design, Computer Graphics, Drawing I and II, Jewelry & Metalsmithing, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography I and II, Printmaking, Sculpture and Textile & Fiber Design. Tri Kappa provides an experienced, well-qualified judge, from outside Montgomery County, to award first, second, third and honorable mention prizes to winners in each of the fourteen categories and Best of Show. Generous monetary prizes and ribbons are provided by Tri Kappa as well. Do come and be awed by the talent emanating from these young high spirited artists who "just want to entertain you"!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Friday, February 09, 2007

Traveling Art Adventures - Times Two Plus Photography

The month of February is an exciting time to step in from the cold and visit the Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery at the Crawfordsville Public Library. You will find the cadre of work k dancing on the gallery walls from the brushes of teachers Karen Patton, Tracy Smoll and the cameras of home-schooled students under the tutelage of Dawn Meadows.

We'll start with Karen Patton, retired Montgomery County elementary school teacher and member of the Crawfordsville Art League, Wabash Artist Alliance, and Indiana Plein Air Painters. She has also been artist in residence at the Lew Wallace Study and has had work displayed in several exhibits in Lafayette. Although she has had a life long interest in art, she only began painting about 8 years ago. Karen studied painting at the Lafayette Museum of Art, Morton Center, and the Renaissance Academy. She has taken workshops with Jerry Smith, Rena Brower, and James Werner. Karen never expected to become an artist even though she loved art. Now she can't imagine not being one. "A work of art helps connect us to our deepest feelings and memories with sensory images that draw us into the work" she says. For Karen, art is a many-splendored adventure in the exploration of mediums which inspire her to develop her artistic talent in new ways every single day. She paints what gives her a sense of purpose and adventure. Many of the images in this exhibit are based on photographs taken while traveling with husband Mike in Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico. Her approach to art is a mirror of her life philosophy. As a teacher in the classroom, she put one of her favorite personal philosophies on the bulletin board, hoping it would inspire her students as much as it inspired her. "Life is not a destination but a journey", writes Albert Camus, French author and philosopher who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Certainly her life has not turned out the way she expected, but she feels she has taken "the road less traveled" and made the most of it. She believes if one goal isn't achievable, there is always another waiting around the corner that might work out even better, if you don't give up on this one and only "journey of life".

Our second teacher-artist, Tracy Smoll, was invited by Karen to share the spotlight for this exhibit. Tracy's story is not unlike Karnes', since they both have become practicing artists in later life. Five years ago, as a part of her Art Education major, Tracy took a painting class at Purdue. In that one semester she painted five oil paintings. After the class she didn't paint again for a few years. Since then, she has taken life drawing and printmaking classes and many other workshops. Returning to oil painting, she realized the enormity of the medium. It is a fickle, trying way to express oneself, but gives Tracy a tremendous appreciation for the master painters. Most of her paintings are of people. "Human form, in all of its complexity and beauty, is endlessly fascinating", Tracy says. When we first meet a new person, there is a brief moment when we look at them without judging or categorizing them. We may know nothing about them and they appear only as another human. Without knowing their context, most of us bring our most generous and kind self to the table. Tracy chooses to remove the context of her subject because she wants the viewer to not only experience that brief moment before judging, but to also imagine who the person in the painting could be. The painting, MRI (Marie), in this exhibit is a good example of what she wants the viewer to see and imagine. The painting of MRI (Marie) is a woman that Tracy met on a trip to Bangladesh. She was a tribal woman who was raised in a rural area, but in the latter part of her life lived and worked on a missionary complex. Tracy loves this painting because of the subject's expression of curiosity. She also likes the keys she is wearing around her neck, which show that she is the person in charge of the household. The print "LIFE HERE" was originally drawn from a still life of old toys. When Tracy first saw the still life of the toys, it looked very frightening to her. It reminded her of the fears and anxieties she had as a child. In painting the original, she wanted to keep the child-like quality of the still life by using cartoon techniques to express drama and movement.

Because two teacher-artists are sharing the gallery exhibit this month, it seemed appropriate to showcase the photography of home-schooled students under the direction of Dawn Meadows, consummate student of photography. Dawn studied Beginning Photography at Lafayette's Ivy Tech State College; but honestly believes she learned more from her own trial and errors than in a formal class. Last year Dawn began home-schooling her daughter and joined the Crawfordsville Area Christian Home Educators (CACHE). She felt a calling to teach Beginning Photography weekly, to students interested in the photographic arts. Since no curriculum was available Dawn developed one herself. Her first year of teaching has been full of ups and downs while experimenting with what works and what doesn't. "Teaching others to fine tune their photographic eye is challenging, but rewarding" says Dawn, "who finds she learns as much from teaching the craft as her students do". It's a great feeling to watch their photography improve in the months they have been together. Personally, Dawn has developed her photographic hobby into a business. She takes senior, family, children and weddings portraits when time allows, but her true photographic love, remains landscapes and flower close-ups. Dawn's students include eighth graders Gabe Kleine, Chelsey Olson, and Annabelle Maroney; ninth graders Shaiya Badgley and Hanna Covington, a tenth grader Rebecca Joy Prosser and last, but certainly not least are eleventh graders Monica Maroney and Sam Wilson.
Come; enjoy three exhibits for the price of one, in the Library's Gallery, until Friday, February 23, 2007. You'll be so happy you did.