By Marilyn Delk
The Anna Bier Gallery, currently filled with the work of local artists who submitted pieces for consideration in the Gallery’s second annual Holiday Exhibit, has become a world of wonder totally appropriate for the holiday season. Thirty-nine pieces, some with a holiday theme, provide a diverse selection of paintings, drawings, photography, and mixed media from 16 artists; almost all convey a sense of joy appropriate to the season.
“Christmas Poinsettias,” Jean Selanders’ entry in the holiday category, offers a textured, detailed yet somewhat abstract look at the blooms that traditionally decorate the season, setting the mood for the exhibit. In another piece that also evokes the splendor of the season, “Evening at Shawnee Prairie,” Jean depicts a timeless look at a wintry landscape that warms the soul in spite of its subject.
Irma Heiser’s “Wintry Branch “ simply depicts a lone pine cone hanging on branch, looking like the perfect enhancement decorating a Christmas present; the organically detailed pine needles somehow give a three-dimensional feel to this two-dimensional work. Irma also painted an ethereal spray of blue flowers amid green leaves,“Pot et Fleurs,” another piece evoking that joyful feeling so prevalent in this show.
In total contrast to that ephemeral work, the attention to detail in John Kiser’s “Gum Wall” makes the piece, at first glance, seem to be a photograph of Greenville’s iconic Maid-Rite; John renders each brick as an individual, with its own texture, color, and form. “Wine,” another entry from John in which reflective surfaces shimmer to perfection in an appealing arrangement of bottles, glasses, and accessories, earned Best of Show.
Sandy Cable-Barringer’s “Daisy” painting offers a timeless sense of the work of the masters, the delicate flowers standing joyfully in a silvery container before a dark background somehow infused with light. In a totally different vein, Sandy’s painting of a “Cardinal” atop a wintry branch is another piece with a realistic sense of depth and dimension, as well as a gorgeous look at the brilliant flash of color so treasured during the dark days of winter.
“Flash of Red” by Marilyn Banks offers another pleasing look at a cardinal in a mixed media work enhanced by luscious red berries amidst a wintry background. Selena Burk’s mixed media piece “Along the Wabash” can be enjoyed and appreciated from a distance, yet offers new discoveries as one moves closer to a scene that feels like a very good place to be.
Thomas Minutola’s painterly photograph, “Great Blue Heron Standing in Misty Morning Light” also offers an inviting spot to visit, the atmospheric scene instilling the viewer with a calm and peaceful feeling. In that same vein, “Mountain Lake,” a photograph by Eileen Litchfield, imaginatively captures a peaceful, yet moody scene at Crater Lake National Park. A third totally different photograph evokes a totally different mood; Erik Burton’s eerie “Stairway,” while well done and technically astute, somehow feels ominous, leaving the viewer moved to not explore whatever lurks at the top of those stairs.
In a drawing that could pass for a photograph, Quinci Woodall subtly uses shades of color to accentuate the three-dimensional appeal of a handsome sheep in “Wooly Warmth.” The drawing “Amaryllis” by Carolyn Armstrong, set in a frame that fetchingly enhances the work, offers colorful contrast, its unfussy detail bringing to mind botanical drawings of flora and fauna.
Jennifer Overholser’s “Purple House,” full of textures and color, magically transports the viewer to an exotic place that feels like New Orleans, while looking like it could have been painted by Vincent Van Gogh. A totally different yet equally creative mixed media piece, “Change” by Adam Duncan whimsically uses change (coins) to depict the changing phases of the moon, demonstrating an out-of-the-box sensibility that delights the senses.
Many more delights can be seen at the Anna Bier Gallery; the Holiday Show is on display through January 29. Gallery Director CeCelia Rice looks forward to welcoming visitors to the Gallery, which is open every Sunday from 12 noon till 2 p.m., with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
For more information, contact Ms. Rice at [email protected] or by calling 937-564-7568.