Monday, August 31, 2009

In the Gallery -- September 2009

Of People and Places

The sparkle of September brings to the Library's Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery a plethora of multi-talented artists sharing their talents in an exciting exhibit titled OF PEOPLE & PLACES: Artwork by Kathryn Clark, Kathryn Cox, Jimmy Cummings, Susan Doster and Nancy Hathaway.

For KATHRYN CLARK a good painting is more than the description of a place or an object. It's about how the weather feels, how the color of light changes the shadows, the beauty of reflections on water; and above all, the human response to nature. It is about the rhythm and tension of the abstract composition within a frame, the play of lights and darks and the calligraphic brush strokes on the canvas or handmade paper. There's nothing more exciting than a blank canvas, the ever changing scene in front of it and the question of what will emerge on that surface today. Kathryn was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and received BFS and MFA degrees in fine art. Kathryn and her husband were instrumental in the revival of handmade paper in America when they founded Twinrocker Handmade Paper in Brookston, Indiana in 1971. In the 1960's and 1970's Kathryn developed many innovative techniques for using color paper pulps in the creation of finished art work. She has exhibited work in galleries, invitational exhibitions in the United States, Great Britain, Japan, at the Smithsonian, Exhibits USA, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Leopold-Hoesch Museum in West Germany, the American Craft Museum, U.S. State Dept traveling exhibit etc. When Twinrocker Handmade Paper began making watercolor paper in 1985, Kathryn began painting watercolors to test the papers. Today, Kathryn exhibits art work in watercolor, graphite, and more recently oil. She now paints out of doors, directly from nature, "en plein air", as much as possible. In the few years she's focused on painting, she's won several awards. In 2007, she won two "Best of Show" awards from the Plein Air Painters in New Harmony, and from Wabash Valley Watercolor Society. Though prestigious, Kathryn prefers letting her paintings speak for themselves.

KATHRYN WINDLE COX, of Lafayette's Wind Hyll Studio, tells us that art in some form or another has always been a large part of her life. Her earliest exposure to drawing dates back to her early childhood when her aunt drew a portrait of her at age four. Her mother also drew pictures of brides for her and her sisters when they were young. Kathryn's first oil painting experience came when she and her aunt sat at the kitchen table and painted a still life. Growing up, she took lessons from various artists, one of whom was well-known Crawfordsville artist Elizabeth C. Sharpless, her high school art teacher. Kathryn credits Elizabeth with leading her to Herron School of Art where she earned a BFA in Visual Communication. In August of 2004 Kathryn began "en plein air" painting in a workshop on her farm with artist friend Leo Neufeld. Because of her love of nature and desire to learn more about oil painting, she was easily attracted to this kind of painting. She has since studied with Ron Mack, Bob Eberle, Lois Davis, Diane Tesler, Jerry Points and many others. All of the landscapes Kathryn has chosen for this exhibit were painted "en plein air" or on location engaged with her subject. Sometimes a photograph may be used for visual reference, but soon a time comes to let the photographic image go and let your own imagination soar.

JIMMY CUMMINGS' love for drawing and painting started early. At the age of ten he placed in numerous local and state art contests. He was the art editor of the school newspaper in sixth grade. He was a fan of Big Daddy Roth cartoon characters and wanted to pursue a career as a Disney Animation artist. Although his love for painting and drawing never diminished, Jimmy's life went in a different direction for many years. Finally at the age of forty-one, he was able to pursue his goal of becoming a painter. He studied with award winning artist Hilary Eddy for three years and learned the basics of oil painting. Even though he had no formal college art training, Jimmy took advantage of every learning opportunity as a member of the Drawing Guild at the Greater Lafayette Museum of Art. He also participated in the Indiana Plein Air Painters paint outs. His work was accepted for two years running in the Grand Wabash juried art show and in the Swope juried art show in 2003. In 2004 his work was published in an International Artist Magazine publication named "How to Paint". Even though he already had a B.A. in ancient literature, Jimmy returned to college in 2006 and graduated with an A.A.S. degree in design technology. He now works for Belcan Engineering at Caterpillar Inc. in Lafayette, Indiana.
Jimmy's work is mainly focused on the artist's subjective response to life and includes Still Life, Landscape, Figures and Portraits. "Realism is merely a paradigm for subjective expression in the form of oil painting", he says.

SUSAN DOSTER grew up in West Lafayette, where she received a BA in Fine Arts from Purdue University. Her MFA came from the Graduate School of Figurative Art at the NY Academy of Art. A large part of her artistic training took place creating studies of the "Old Master" paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Gradually she began a return to the Midwest, living for two years in Bucks County, PA before returning to West Lafayette, IN. Part of her journey away from NYC was meant to re-introduce her to the landscape, as in living in and painting. The work in this exhibit reflects Susan's focus on the figure as well as a few examples of her landscapes. Two of her "Old Master" studies are included, one after Flemish artist, Anthony van Dyck, and the other after Frans Hals. She used these studies to further understand the layers of paint used in the creation of their work. She learned about their pigments, brushstrokes and even the weave of their canvas. Susan is also a sculptor who creates figures in clay which are then fired and become terra cotta. There are two portrait busts, one in terra cotta and the other a plaster cast made from clay in this exhibit. The plaster cast was made at the NY Academy. The terra cotta piece was part of her diploma project. She is also showing five small cabinets which she bought as raw wood and painted. She observed some beautiful golden mushrooms in Southern Indiana which became her inspiration when decorating these small cabinets. Back home again in Indiana, after 25 years away, Susan discovered, to her delight how many other talented artists also live here. Whether inspired by the landscape or a model posing, it has been a great pleasure painting with the other artists in this exhibit.

Born in Salem, Oregon, NANCY HATHAWAY received a BA and MFA degree in fine art before moving to Lafayette, Indiana in 1994. She is a practicing artist working primarily in collage and watercolor, frequently displaying her work in the Lafayette area and beyond. The watercolor and collage pieces in this exhibit entitled, Where is Monte?, are dedicated to everyone who has ever loved and lost a special pet. Nancy hopes you will find comfort in knowing that others do understand your pain and loss. You won't want to miss this golden autumnal opportunity to enjoy the fine art and diversity of these five multi-talented artists. Do come often and stay long.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Noteworthy Birthday: Mother Teresa

Internationally known as Mother Teresa, Agnese Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (born August 26, 1910 in the Ottoman Empire, died September 5, 1997) was the most recognized humanitarian of the Twentieth Century. The recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Mother Teresa was praised for her work with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity which aided those plagued with terminal illnesses, HIV/AIDs and leprosy, and included hospices, soup kitchens, counseling programs, orphanages, and schools. Following her death, Mother Teresa was given the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta by Pope John Paul II.

Wikipedia Biography of Mother Teresa

Check out the humanitarian at CDPL: Mother Teresa

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

In the Gallery: A Joy-Filled Diversity

A Joy-Filled Diversity

From late August until early June this month's exhibiting artists may be found in the classroom at Southmont Junior and Senior High Schools teaching art. Summer gives them personal time to soar in pursuit of their own careers as practicing artists. This exhibit manifests the delicious fruits of their extraordinary personal endeavors. Milt Anderson is a young artist, born in 1969, and the new father of a beautiful red-headed baby boy, who lives with his wife and son in Lafayette, Indiana. After graduating from West Lafayette Indiana High School, Milt traveled the world compliments of the United States Navy. When his complimentary travel education was complete, he returned to Indiana and to receive a Fine Art's degree from Purdue University. Soon after graduation Milt began teaching art at Southmont Junior High School. As a practicing artist Milt works with ceramics, wood, and metals. This is his first opportunity to exhibit his work. Eleanor Brewer is a many-faceted renaissance woman who has honed her skills in many and diverse areas. As the Art Department Chair at Crawfordsville's Southmont High School she teaches Advanced Art III & IV, Painting, Drawing, Advanced Placement Art, Computer Graphics and Visual Communications. She is a graduate of Herron School of Art, Indiana University at Indianapolis and Bloomington where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Visual Arts in 1981. In the summer of 1986 she received a Master of Arts in Education and Visual Arts from Indiana University at Indianapolis and Bloomington. She received nine hours at I. U. Bloomington in Gifted & Talented Education and in the summer of 1987 served in a Research Advisory Group, Computer Art Discovery, and A Renaissance in Education, better known as CADRE. In addition to her teaching license, Eleanor earned a Diploma from the Atlanta School of Interior Design in 1995. She was accepted at Indiana Wesleyan University as an Adjunct Professor of Art and Music History in 2007. The renovation and interior design of the RENAISSANCE Gallery & Towers (circa 1876) in historic downtown Ladoga, presented Eleanor with an opportunity to utilize her knowledge and skills in interior design. Incorporating her interdisciplinary method of thinking and teaching, Eleanor developed The Grand Plan of Renaissance Gallery & Towers incorporating a Victorian decor with Classical Music, Impressionist Art, Literature, Civil War era memorabilia, politics, values and aesthetics to complete a "Renaissance of the Spirit" much like the time period in which the Block Centennial Building was built. She has entered many art exhibits and won many ribbons and cash prizes, the most prestigious of which is the 2005 Hoosier Salon, where she won Best of Show in any Medium. She is a member of many professional organizations and often presents to them and others. She has received grants and authored many educational books. Janet McVay comes to us from the "center of the universe," Tangier, Indiana, where she has lived for the past 37 years; though her introduction to West Central Indiana came at a very early age while camping with her family at Turkey Run State Park at the age of 3. Most of Janet's youth was spent in Miami, Florida, but summers provided travel opportunities to visit grandparents in Ohio and New Jersey. Janet's mother, an Art Major herself, nurtured the family in a love of the arts, often visiting art museums, symphony concerts, and dramatic productions on their many trips into New York City and elsewhere. Janet's greatest love, however, was summer camp in the hills of western New Jersey where she spent eight weeks each summer. The family also camped at Chimney Campgrounds in the Great Smokie Mountains near her favorite mountain stream, where she dangled her toes in the cold churning waters and felt surrounded by the wonders of God. Sand, surf, sun and sailing were the wonders she specially enjoyed. Janet visits her mother in Miami several times a year, but living there permanently ended in high school when Janet opted to leave the Miami multitudes to attend a small college in Ohio. Her junior year presented an opportunity to live with two families in Switzerland and in her senior year, she married a sweet guy from Indiana which is the reason for her move back to Parke County where his family resides. Janet lives in an 1870's farmhouse near a still-used barn for feeding their 30 steers. She has been a teacher of Art and Photography at Southmont High School for the past twenty-three years. Her husband has been a teacher for thirty-nine years. Previous to her teaching career, Janet stayed at home while raising their two sons, now teachers themselves who live in the area. Each son is married with two children, providing Janet the privilege of grand parenting. Janet still enjoys traveling, art, photography and classical music. She likes drinking hot coffee from a handmade mug kept warm on the wood-burning stove in her kitchen, and particularly enjoys watching the color as the seasons change. She cherishes her simple lifestyle, the rural beauty of the area, her friends and family who are honest, loving and hard-working people. Life is good! Sandy L. Minick was born in Nurnberg, Germany and grew up in a military family. She spent most of her vacations with her German mother's family in a small village in the Bavarian area of Germany. During her teen years, she enjoyed the most wonderful opportunity to travel and see many of the great art masterpieces of Europe. She loved exploring old castles and palaces and today still immensely enjoys visiting museums. The art teacher in her can never seem to learn enough. Able to create in clay, mixed media, fibers, and with a camera, Sandy still prefers drawing in charcoal or pastels and painting in oils and acrylic. She receives her inspiration mostly from what she hears; then translates it into visual elements. The Lord's word is most important to Sandy in her creation process. After reading devotions and listening to contemporary Christian music she often creates her most vivid pieces. Living on a horse ranch, with fifty-plus horses and all the work that goes along with it, inspires Sandy in the creation of pieces that reflect western cowboy life. Sandy feels most comfortable using earthy or subdued tones with hints of vibrant colors. She strives for strong composition and drawing techniques so that she is able to use soft brush strokes and depth in the paint. She tries to lure the viewer in close to promote an investigation and to stimulate wonder in the viewer about what might be under or beyond the piece itself. Currently she is exploring collage and is trying to develop a more creative approach in her current work. Currently Sandy lives with her husband and three nearly grown sons on a small horse farm adjacent to their families' horse ranch. Together they enjoy working the horses, cattle and buffalo, sweating together over the work involved in caring for a farm. While Sandy has an Art teaching license, she is currently the Vocation Aide at Southmont Senior High School. She is hoping to find a more permanent teaching position in one of the local school systems -- and soon!