‘The Art of Green’ in Senoia, Apr. 25

Thu, 04/23/2009 - 3:35pm
By: The Citizen

‘The Art of Green’ in Senoia, Apr. 25

If you think of trash as nothing more than the stuff you take to the curb once a week, some local artists hope to change your mind and help you see it in a different light. For those participating in "The Art of Green" sidewalk art show and sale in Historic Senoia on Apr. 25, the things that most people throw away hold infinite possibilities.

Claudia Wood’s medium is textiles, and "recycled art" is one of her greatest interests. She gravitated toward recycling as a child, when she began to wonder where all the garbage went "when the men took it away." Wood’s mother, Clara Boykin, was a charter member of the Alabama Conservancy, and Wood and her children went door-to-door in their Birmingham community to help establish a curbside recycling program in the 1980s.

“I have sewn and made clothes, curtains and everything else I could think of since I was ten years old,” said Wood. “My mother, an artist raised in the Depression, taught me to conserve fabric and to save all sorts of odds and ends to use in making art. I began to design and make quilts for a national magazine in the early 90s, but it wasn't until 2002 that I really began to concentrate on combining quilts and recycling.”

Patchwork quilts were originally made from a family's worn-out clothing. Although beautiful new fabric is easy to find now, many quiltmakers are going back to the old ways. With the new awareness of the importance of recycling, it seems perfectly appropriate.

“I find wonderful material for my quilts in my own closet or in local thrift stores,” Wood stated. “And other friends who sew often give me their "throwaway" scraps. The additional twist I like to put on my work is to create and embellish with bits of what many would call trash and throw away.”

Artist Jane Whitehurst likens the inner dialog in abstract painting to movie scores. She says, “You can hear a movie soundtrack and know the movie genre. . .suspense, comedy, love story, etc. An abstract expressionist painter expresses emotions through color, line and texture. This can be felt visually just as emotions can be felt through sound.”

Through her studios in Los Angeles and Senoia, Whitehurst has created a large body of work. Locally, her original work is exhibited at the Dogwood Gallery in Tyrone and most recently at the House of Colors on Miami Circle in Atlanta. Giclees of the artist’s work are available at Beyond the Door in Senoia. The House of Colors exhibit, “New Works, New State of Mine” continues through Friday, June 19 with a closing reception from 6 – 9 p.m.

An active member of her local community, Whitehurst serves on the Arts Council for Senoia and will be a participating artist in the upcoming “Art of Green” art show to be held in celebration of Earth Day on April 25 in historic downtown Senoia. Whitehurst, along with other artists will be exhibiting works made of recycled materials. She routinely uses recycled materials within her work.

“The Art of Green” sidewalk art show will also feature the work of Kimberly “Kimbo” Daniel. “Kimbo” to everyone excepting her son Daniel, who knows her as “Mombo,” says she has been an artist as long as she can remember. At the age of seven, she was pulled out of class so that college students could study her work and observe her creative expression. Following that experience, her family encouraged her through classes and art supplies. After graduation, Daniel attended the Art Institute in Atlanta and later certified through the University of Georgia in graphic design.

Today, she paints, sculpts, sings, writes poetry as well as music, and goes to casting calls for acting parts. Daniel has been producing recycled sculptures for over 14 years. The artist refers to the sculptures as her “people,” which are innovative, fun, and sometimes profound. Her sculptures each include a message through a song or poem.

Also participating in the “Art of Green” show is potter Janet McGregor Dunn. Dunn recycles nature into some of her  pottery, adding straw, rocks and leaves or other found items from the woods surrounding her home.  Her enthusiasm for creating interesting and eclectic pottery is obvious. Dunn discovered her love for working with clay approximately 15 years ago after a lifetime of drawing, painting with oils and acrylics, and multi-media crafting.   

“Clay allows me to incorporate all of the various mediums I enjoy,” noted Dunn. “I knew when I put my fingers in that first block of clay and began forming it that I had found ‘my’ perfect media.”

 The Fayette County potter's work is earthy, bluesy, and each piece seems to be unlike any other she has made.   The hues and colors of nature from the blues of water and sky to the browns and greens of leaves, grass and trees can be seen in a large portion of her completed pottery. All of her work incorporates a variety of textures. Dunn states she is constantly  "on the prowl "  for new textures to incorporate into her  pieces.

 In addition to exhibiting at "The Art of Green Show," some of  Dunn’s work is currently on display at the Dogwood Gallery  in Tyrone.   Her work can be viewed online at www.Hummingbird-Hollow.com  or by appointment , 404-290-3638.

Senoia's "Art of Green" Art Show brings recycled art to Georgia's Earth Day celebration. The event, which will take place Saturday, April 25th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in historic downtown Senoia is sponsored by the Cultural Arts Committee of the Senoia Downtown Development Authority  and presented by " Arts and Expressions "  magazine.  

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