The Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/Douglas County presents “For the Birds: Georgia’s Audubon and Other Artists Exploring Ornithological Motifs” during the months of May and June. The exhibit features 21 works by Athos Menaboni on loan from the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University and more than 30 works from contemporary artists Pam Beagle-Daresta, Ronald Broome, Elizabeth Chapman, Helen Helwig, Lee Anne Messerschmidt and Ken Paradise.
The exhibition opens on Thursday, May 2, and will be on view through June 28 at the Cultural Arts Center. Hosted by the American Business Women’s Association, the exhibition reception will be on Thursday, May 2 from 6 until 8 p.m., at the Cultural Arts Center. Pianist Ilja Moston will perform during the reception. Gallery admission and the reception are free and open to the general public.
Athos Menaboni was born in Italy in 1895 and later arrived in Georgia in the late 1920s. Menaboni in his early career worked a great deal with corporate projects which included work with murals in the Atlanta area. He later turned to painting wildlife in their natural habitat. Menaboni is perhaps most famous for his paintings of more than 150 different species of birds which are native to the Atlanta area. The loan from the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University includes four original oil paintings “Wood Duck,” “Mallard,” “Hooded Merganser” and “California Quail.” There will also be 16 lithograph prints along with the graphite drawing, “Brown Thrasher (Song Thrasher).”
Marietta-based artist Pam Beagle-Daresta creates monoprints inspired by the natural world and the memorable ways we live with nature. Her works included in this exhibition are all from her recent series, “Wanderings and Wonderings.” Beagle-Daresta explained, “The body of this work originates in my childhood with my fascination for the natural world. Remembering watching the tiny world of insects in the grass, to learning the scientific order for the patterns and cycles of the natural world still fascinates me and informs my marks… The works are the resonance of my explorations and imagination, or ‘Wanderings and Wonderings.’ ” For these pieces, Beagle-Daresta starts by making the print images’ support paper from recycled papers. Next she layers intaglio printing with relief processes, chine collé, and a variety of monoprinting processes. Often hand-coloring parts of the image as the final processes, she uses safe art practices and non-toxic water-based media.
Photographer Ronald Broome is a fifth-generation Floridian. Since he retired from the Department of Defense, his goal has been to photograph and record a history of the old buildings and structures found in the old towns and areas of Florida, natural landscapes in Florida, and capturing remnants of Old Florida before they disappear . He also takes many photographs of the native wildlife – including his dramatic portrayals of birds displayed in the current exhibition – that are facing an ever-increasing loss of habitat in Florida.
Elizabeth Chapman has exhibiting her art in national and international exhibitions where they have garnered numerous awards. Her works are in private and corporate collections throughout the United States, Canada, France, Mexico and New Zealand. “I find the force and beauty of the creative process to be compelling. My paintings are personal narratives, portraying honest emotions in response to current life and past memories. When I'm painting, spirit and intuition guide while my hands mindfully follow,” Chapman stated, “My intuitive mixed-media process incorporates numerous layers, often including hand-textured reliefs, hand-made papers, personal drawings, acrylic paint, acrylic ink, calligraphic markings, preserved organic material and translucent glazes.” Chapman holds a Master of Science in Art Education from Florida International University and completed her studies with “Academic Excellence” at Cambridge University in England. She also earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Southeast Missouri State University and attended the foundations program at the Kansas City Art Institute. She also credits her mentor, Eydi Lampasona, at the Boca Raton Museum of Art with vital inspiration and knowledge.
Active in art pottery since 1975, Helen Helwig studied at Ohio State University and worked as an assistant at the Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts. Helwig has been an artist-in-residence many times, often worked as an art teacher, and conducts workshops in clay techniques, handmade tile and mosaics. Helwig has participated in juried art fairs for more than 20 years and enjoys the opportunity to share her art work with the public. Helwig’s functional art is created using wheel-thrown, hand-built and extrusion techniques. These pieces often include incised and relief sculptures of birds, animals and plants. Sculpted, textured and incised areas are stained and then glazed to enhance the details and surface of the images. Helwig formulates many of her own glazes to achieve unusual effects and colors. She is inspired by flora and fauna, as well as the geology and the geographic features of our region and the seasons. Her stylized and symbolic images and their themes are often derived from cultural, historical and environmental references.
Lee Anne Messerschmidt is a jewelry artist based in Douglasville. She graduated from Drake University with a B.F.A. degree in Interior Design and Art Education. Messerschmidt was a potter for many years and then discovered her passion for making jewelry. She has added the technique of torch-fired enamel this past year and loves the colors that can be achieved. Messerschmidt’s jewelry is more about the artistry of the piece than the preciousness of the metals. She works primarily in copper, sterling silver, bronze, brass and aluminum, much of which is recycled. Many of her designs are inspired from nature and have an earthy, organic feel with a touch of whimsy. It is her hope that people will enjoy wearing her jewelry as much as she enjoys altering it. Messerschmidt has exhibited at the Cultural Arts Center in Douglasville and is represented by shops throughout Georgia. She is a member of the Douglas County Art Guild. She was an assistant instructor at the Metal Arts Studio in Austell, Georgia and taught wire jewelry classes at Cool Beads in Douglasville as well as classes at the Cultural Arts Center.
Artist Ken Paradise has been a hobbyist painter for nearly 40 years, working primarily with oils and acrylics. Since his retirement from the retail industry in 2007, Paradise has been able to devote more time to the pursuit of improving his art. Largely self-taught, Paradise describes his style as “impressionistic realism.” He is a member of the Douglas County Art Guild and a frequent exhibitor at the Douglas County courthouse gallery. Currently, he is an instructor at the Woodie Fite Center where he conducts classes in acrylic painting.