The Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/Douglas County presents recent works-drawings, paintings, photographs, stained glass, turned wood, jewelry, and even decorated gourds-by members of the Douglas County Art Guild in its May exhibition at the Cultural Arts Center in downtown Douglasville. The pieces on display represent the diverse achievements of many local artists whose explorations of contemporary aesthetic directions present a wide range of artistic perspectives. The exhibition will be on view through May 31.
An acrylic painting by Ken Paradise, Sax in the Park, is one example of the array of works put on display by this talented group. Paradise adds an impressionistic style to his portrait of a saxophonist playing in the park on a bright day, capturing the sense of activity and freshness found in the verdant setting. Tom Butler’s imaginative watercolor, Savannah Sunflowers, also contains a sense of liveliness: willowy, wavy petals shoot from multi-colored sunflowers on thin, oscillating stems that fill and animate the entire piece. Barry Benner’s striking oil, Flowing, portrays in short, thick brushstrokes a volcanic magma flow at night with vivid reds that contrast and compliment the dark black brushstrokes of rock and deep royal blues of the background night sky. On the other hand, Linda Powell’s acrylic pieces emphasize the beauty found in paint’s fluidity. In The Storm, her rich acrylic colors that still seem to be in liquid form, mixing together in an almost tsunami-like swirl on Yupo paper. More traditional themes are explored by Mariano Zucchi and Elizabeth Stephenson. Zucchi’s oil painting, Copper Vessel, returns to the classical theme of the still life, but rendered in a looser style emphasizing form and color over finite detail. Stephenson’s tranquil Ocean Potion, a digital photograph on canvas, is a lovely composition of a young girl quietly playing on the beach with waves breaking on the shore behind her.
Three-dimensional mediums are also well represented. Nature’s Offering, a turned wood sculpture by Steve Pritchard, is an elegant piece composed of a delicate spindle and ellipsoidal form resting on top of three attenuated, curling stems. Lee Ann Messerschmidt’s gorgeous Poppy Bracelet transforms copper and steel into a wearable sculpture with organic shapes, tightly coiled wire tendrils and a large handcrafted flower. In Steve’s Cat, Jane Ballou’s wonderful example of pyrography on gourd, the image of a wide-eyed cat is masterfully burned into the outer skin of a dried gourd. The exhibition will also offer include several pieces of fine but functional pottery and many stained glass works.
The Douglas County Art Guild is a membership organization of practicing artists and friends of the visual arts in Douglasville. An active satellite group of the Cultural Arts Council, the DC Art Guild was founded more than twenty years ago, predating the establishment of the Cultural Arts Council. Under the leadership of President Linda Britt the DC Art Guild has been revitalized and its membership has more than doubled. They have been exhibiting at the Douglas County Courthouse and in our local libraries, and they have many other shows planned for the next year. Guild activities include field trips to Atlanta arts centers, museums and galleries; special workshops, still life drawing studios, slide lectures, gallery talks and other educational programs; and a paper quilt project funded by the CAC’s Grassroots Arts Program from Georgia Council for the Arts, which is now on permanent display at the Douglas County Courthouse. The Guild uses miniatures and reproductions of their own works to decorate the Cultural Arts Center Christmas tree every holiday season. Their one-of-a-kind decorations have proved very popular-and their sale has been a wonderful fundraiser for its activities.