Fine Art: Joy in the Every Day

“My Best Smile” by Linda Bradshaw courtesy photo 

The motto for the Hopewell Valley Arts Council is, “Art in the Every Day.” Now they’ve compounded that with their current exhibit at Capital Health-Hopewell that celebrates Joy in the Every Day. And what better time of year than now, the winter solstice, as we begin our journey out of winter’s darkness into light and joy?

The gallery itself is a bright happy place where often a pianist adds music to the ambience and the long curving wall always displays good art. And now that wall is alive with joyful paintings and short essays written by the artists telling about the joy creating art has brought to them.

Early in the exhibit is Janneke van der Ree’s quilt, “My Favorite Chair,” worked in floral fabrics of such happy colors it seems to be inviting all to sit and relax surrounded by this very uplifting exhibition.

Letting your eyes roam slowly from artwork to artwork, you begin to see that the artists all have one thing in common–they see the beauty around them, they realize it can be fleeting and they respond to it each in his or her own creative way. Mary Galioto saw a silvery caterpillar traveling across the top of a peach-toned toadstool standing in green grasses. It caught her eye, she photographed it, and she presents it here saying her hope is that “the presentation of an ordinary scene, a moment in nature…sparks a joyful perspective of our artistic everyday world.”

Marissa Blossom says her greatest joy comes from “breathing in daily beauty.” She is exhibiting two oil pastel contour portraits that have the look of caricature–an art form that is achieved only after studying the subjects closely to bring about facial components that made each persona unique. She says, for her, painting is a daily joy that makes her feel “simultaneously most excited and at peace.”

Working in acrylics, dyes, and materials from nature, Joy Kreves created paintings she titled “Passion” and “Wild Abandon.” For these, she explored applying layers of a salt/dye solution to thickly laid pigment. The results are paintings where underlying color peeks through, crystals form and moss adds deep texture. Kreves says she finds her joy in incorporating processes that she can set into motion and then watch develop.

Stone carver Janis Blayne Paul says “Creating art offers the opportunity to slow down and live in the present moment, capturing that which brightens my spirit. That it also does so for others is the greatest of gifts. On display are two Stone Bas Relief with Natural Dye and Oils, “Prance and Swoon” presents a peacock in full display and “Art Nouveau Floral” is a smaller vertical bearing an elegant motif.

About her two mixed media paintings on display, “Crack–The Emergence of a Bud” and “And Then the Wind Whispers,” Jane Zamost says “There is joy in the process of creating, taking walks amongst the trees, hearing the wind whisper and observing the flower bud emerge.” And Teresa Anderson, who is exhibiting her exquisite gouache and 24K Gold Leaf painting “Iona’s Wild Celtic Goose,” the result of her journey to the remote Scottish island of Iona, writes in her statement of a walk she took when “the golden sun set after 10 PM and my face was kissed by the rising full moon.” She adds, “Truly this simple walk reminds me of the joy of sunset and moonrise in the everyday! I hope it inspires your joy too!”

Kristen Birdsey’s watercolor painting “Catch of the Day” celebrates a different kind of joy found in nature. In this, we see a wide-winged bird of prey flying in joyful abandon with its catch held firmly in its claws. Birdsey says, “My goal with my paintings is to bring others joy with the artfulness of nature and all its creations, the way everything interacts with each other… .”

Linda Martin-Mills is exhibiting a small quilted fabric work of art about which she says, “The joy that I find creating something from scraps like this piece and the freedom of expressing myself with thread paintings is amazing.” Titled “Sunrise–Finding Joy in Each New Day” this small work of art perfectly captures the premise of the whole presentation.

And Linda Bradshaw’s portrait “My Best Smile” of a delightful boy whose smile stretches so wide his eyes are even squinched shut is the exclamation mark on this exhibit. Pure Joy!

Speaking of the way this exhibit “fulfills the Investors Bank Art and Healing Gallery’s unique mission of offering patients, visitors and staff a respite from the difficulties of the day by way of featuring beautiful, engaging and inspirational works of art,” Jane Zamost, Healing Arts Program Coordinator at Capital Health-Hopewell says, “The beauty of this show, aside from the obvious talent, is the vast array of interpretations of what joy represents from artist to artist – a smile that says it all, an all encompassing flower, an outstretched hand, a quilt rich with color. This is JOY.”

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Joy In The Every Day, Art by members of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council

WHERE: Investors Art and Healing Gallery, Capital Health -Hopewell, One

                        Capital Way, Pennington

WHEN: Through March 25. Hours ongoing. Meet The Artists Reception, Thursday,

                        January 10, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

CONTACT: 609-281-5881. info@hvartscouncil.org

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