The long awaited and anticipated “Gardenshapes” showcase will open Wednesday in the Grand Hall, featuring artist Kathleen O’Brien’s incredibly unique mixed-media collages. O’Brien’s colorful yet mysterious nature pieces continue to draw viewers in with the earthy textures and curious use of shapes.
O’Brien mostly paints on her farm in Mercer County, which she and her husband refer to as “the sanctuary.” It’s easy to see O’Brien is close to nature after viewing her art.
Art is a spiritual practice to her and nature is a constant inspiration. She uses watercolor, botanicals, mica, copper leaf and ink on exotic handmade papers, creating a rich texture to each piece.
Although her works rich in pastel colors, many with brightly colored birds, some with strong, Asian characters, others with pebbles, the pieces are very subdued. O’Brien describes her work as having a refined, fragile strength.
Flowers painted off-center or to the side of the page, some with geometrical shapes placed about and layered materials and colors make the eye focus.
O’Brien gives thanks to her spiritual teachers, Wallace Black Elk and other Native American Elders. She says they taught her to respect and honor the Earth through art.
Often referred to as mystical or dimensional art, O’Brien’s work also has been greatly influenced by the places she’s lived – Japan, Italy and Colorado, for example.
In addition to her pieces, O’Brien also offers prints and greeting cards made from her art.
“Gardenshapes” will be in the Grand Hall through July 27.
Let there be dancing!
We put the word out and the public responded. The Community Arts Center offers Beginning Ballroom Dance with instructor Wesley Bratcher, a dancer for more than 15 years, 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays beginning July 10. Bratcher is excited to offer the class, which will focus on different types of swing, Latin and other ballroom-inspired dances. Singles and couples are welcome alike, and should plan on dancing for at least 45-50 minutes of the class. The cost is $40, and class runs through July 31.
Interested students may register online.
Red wagon, Red wagon
That special weekend where music is heard throughout the town is almost here, and the Arts Center is getting ready for yet another special Great American Red Wagon Contest.
Designing wagons has been a pastime for many children and their families in the area, some who put their creative heads together to come up with winning designs. We want to encourage group efforts, so we’ve added a new category: the “Over the Top” award, given to the participant’s wagon that best reflects a team effort.
Also, a “Best of the Bayou” award, for the wagon representing the Mardi Gras spirit, has been added to coincide with Bayou & Brass which is offered on Friday night. A portion of Main Street will be closed for the special event, with street performers, music, food and fun throughout downtown.
We encourage families to pull their wagon down Main Street, enjoy the attention and get prepped to walk in the grand parade Saturday.
Registration forms are due Wednesday, and can be downloaded at www.communityartscenter.net or picked up at the Arts Center’s front desk.
Those interested in volunteering to help out during the contest can contact Emily Montgomery by emailing email@example.com.
SO YOU KNOW
Registration is now available on line for the Community Arts Center’s Arts Exploration Class, offered 1-4 p.m. July 9-13. Five fun-filled days of hands-on activities is sure to keep children’s creativity flowing through the summer. Camp is for children entering second through fifth grades. Visit www.community artscenter.net for more information.