Tour d’Art Brings French Flair To In-Town Gallery In November

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The semi-annual all-member featured exhibit at In-Town Gallery in November, Tour d’Art, brings a French flair to the Holiday Open House. Inspired by classic and contemporary masters in the art center of the world, the 33 co-op gallery artists have produced their own masterpieces for this holiday opener.  

These all-new works will be displayed on the Left Bank and Right Bank throughout the gallery. French cuisine will give flavor to the tres bon refreshments - breads from the boulangerie and desserts from the patisserie, with imported wines. The opening reception is from 5-8 p.m. on the First Friday, Nov. 1.

Review for Tour d'Art: 

Approaching In-Town Gallery by the Walnut Street Walking Bridge over the Tennessee River, imagine striding along the pedestrian Pont des Arts over the River Seine in Paris. 

A Fleur-de-lis stained-glass panel by Carolyn Insler is an appropriate symbol of welcome. Another glass artist, Mary Beth McClure, layers patterned sheets of glass fused in a kiln to form platters and bowls with special designs.  Large oil paintings on canvas by Chuck Frye, that he calls ’new American realism’, portray local scenes in the city and countryside that could be views of Paris streets and southern France. The five jewelers are showing their custom creations in a Chic Boutique that might be seen along the Champs-Elysees. Eleanor Goodson, Mary Clor, Marian Kern, Barbara Murnan and Laura Brock each have distinct styles formed with precious metals, pearls, beads, stones and jewels. Natural clay is transformed into elegant dinnerware, vessels, lamps and figures by three talented potters - Roger Harvey, Ted Reeder and Sheila Fulghum. All these pieces are worthy of the Louvre.

Edgar Degas has a rival in the graceful dancer figures of Ellen Franklin. Multi-media artist Bradley Wilson produces character drawings reminiscent of Toulouse-Lautrec. Plein air painters Marie Miller, Janis Wilkey and Victoria Pearmain capture the fresh colors and luminosity of the Impressionists Monet, Cezanne and Renoir. Portait artist Maddin Corey could have studied with Berthe Morisot, as her style and skin tones are similar. 

The Bayeux tapestries represent historic events of that era in France, but Linda White’s pieced and stitched art quilts capture shapes and colors that are equally fascinating. Jennie Kirkpatrick  has traveled extensively in France and her market scenes have the flavor of Provence. Gay Arthur’s paintings of industrial structures reflect the exterior design of the moderne Pompidou Center in Paris, where avant-garde artworks like those created by Leslie Dulin, Coyee Langston, Lori Ryan, and Helen Brooks are hung.

Julie Clark’s steel sculptures relate to the ornate ironwork of the traditional entrances to the Paris Metropolitan subway. John McLean’s seascapes that are like Alfred Sisley’s, along with the intricate pen and ink drawings of Doug McCoy and etchings by Linda Thomas that show influences from DaVinci, as well as the elegant simplicity of Doug Barker’s tables and cabinets and the turned wood pieces by Jim Roche - all compare favorably with artworks shown at the Musee d’Orsay. 

The award-winning photography of Spears McAllester specializes in winter scenes and mountain vistas in the western states and far-flung regions of Nepal that rival the snowy peaks of the French Alps. Virginia Webb’s photos document the local bridges and misty cemetery vistas that remind one of the more elaborate spans across the Seine and even the famous Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise that is a city in itself.

Last on the list but first in the gallery, Jane Yelliott completes 29 years as a member of In-Town. A versatile artist, she creates colorful designs on clay tiles, pastel portraits, watercolor paintings, and oils on canvas - typical examples of the wonderful variety found in the artists’ village of Montmartre in Paris. 

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