Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In the Gallery

Nature Personified
(To conceive of/or represent as an artist has in an interpretation of subjects viewed)
By Shirley Biddle-Freeman

Her work is on display in the Mary Bishop Gallery at the Crawfordsville District Library through July 30th.

Shirley Biddle Freeman, an Indiana Artist, is mostly self-taught, even though she has been privileged to study with some of the finest painters in the United States of America and Mexico. She considers it a gift from God to be able to share her talent and education with student artists in classes and workshops in many states. No greater joy is felt than when others feel a sense of happiness when viewing their paintings and seeing the delight in the eyes of her students when they understand the process of watercolors. The greatest reward is enjoying the creative ability not only for health of body and mind, but for what we can share with others. Her work has been accepted in state, regional and national juried shows some of which include The Oil Painters of America (OPA), The Wabash Valley Watercolor Society, BRAC, Seneca SC. The Hoosier Salon, and the Watercolor Society of Indiana (WSI) of which she has reached signature status.
This Internationally known artist's paintings can be found in private and corporate collections in most of the fifty United States, including Government offices in Washington D. C. also in Australia, Puerto Rico & many European countries.

Shirley Biddle-Freeman has had solo shows in multiple states and participated in group exhibitions in many more. She has also been featured in many magazines and on television.

Traditionally Rooted Contemporary Elegance
Stonework and Bronzes
By Fine Artist Valerie Jean Shafer

In my sculpture, I tend to take a less is more approach. I believe that by paring a thing down to its essence, the spirituality behind it more easily revealed to the viewer. The simplicity of these forms, even those inspired by ancient American artifacts, evokes a sense of elegance with a decidedly contemporary feel. My home and studio happen to be located on the exact spot the last forced removal of Native Americans from Indiana began in 1838. This reality has encouraged my exploration into my own Cherokee heritage and inspired a body of work that draws upon a form vocabulary of American Indian artifacts from prehistory. They silently speak of the beauty of Native American culture beyond the usual stereotypes, and reveal Indians as the inhabitants of the Americas far longer that most people believe. Many correspond to universal archetypes, bearing similarities in both appearance and function to other prehistoric stone implements from around the world – suggestive of a commonality in the development of humankind. Others, like birdstones, are quintessential relics communicating a uniquely North American indigenous perspective.

Whether small artifacts lying in a cornfield, or large sculptures prominently displayed, these intriguing forms have a strong impact on their surrounding environment. The essence of spirituality is ever present to the viewer. By sharing my reverence for these objects, the motives behind which span from a matter of survival to the expression of the sacred, it is my hope to engage the viewer in a dialogue that will expand awareness of and appreciation for the beauty and complexity of ancient Indian culture.

My formal education includes holding a Bachelor of Science in Fine Art degree from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana: an Associate in Science in Education degree from Ancilla College in Donaldson, Indiana; and several years of study in bronze casting at Indiana University in South Bend.

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