Kicking off the New Year at its start, In-Town Gallery plans to “Celebrate Art!” Every medium involved in the original work of the 34 artists will be represented on the front wall as an introduction to the creativity within the gallery.
The opening reception will be Friday, Jan. 3, from 5:30--8 p.m. and begins the 40th Anniversary celebration which will continue all year long, with an event on Founders’ Day in September.
Painting mediums include acrylics, encaustic, ink, oils, pastels and watercolors. Almost half of the In-Town artists, 16, are painters. Some work exclusively in one medium; others like to experiment in many. Leslie Dulin finds her best expression in acrylics which she sometimes enhances with colored pencil or collage of her original stamped papers. Helen Brooks also prefers acrylics which she builds up with collage elements for a 3-D effect.
The plein-air painters, Marie Miller, Janis Wilkey, Gay Arthur, Victoria Pearmain and Ellen Franklin, agree that slow-drying oils are the best medium for capturing the scene on location. Ms. Franklin also likes the effect of encaustic - melted wax, resin and pigment - that can achieve results not possible with any other medium. Chuck Frye likes oils for his studio work based on his photography of historic places and the surrounding countryside.
Noted for his loose interpretation of skies and water elements, John McLean works only in transparent watercolors. Working with ceramic paints, Jane Yelliott forms figures on clay tiles of various sizes. From hard to soft - she enjoys doing portraits in pastels on paper.
Other forms of expression, like etching designs into metal plates and pulling proofs, are represented at In-Town by Linda Thomas. Unique interpretations of nature’s creatures are achieved with colorful patterned fabric and intricate free-hand stitching by Linda White. She also dyes a kaleidoscope of designs onto sheer silk scarves. Recording Art-Deco sculptures with a camera is the forte of Spears McAllester. Forming abstract shapes with sheet metal and found scrap is newest gallery member Denice Bijot’s artistic mode.
Wood is a strong presence in the gallery with Doug Barker’s ables, cabinets and mirror frames. On a smaller scale, Jim Roche turns out candlesticks, bowls, vases, and platters from native and exotic hardwoods, as well as segmented barrels for fountain pens, pencils, and shaving sets. Three potters produce inspired shapes in clay to form functional tableware, decorative pieces, lamps and plant stands.
The four jewelers present a galaxy of adornments formed with hand-tooled precious metals, beads from seed-size to marble-size, high-quality gems, colorful stones, quartz crystals, pearls, and more. Other reflective pieces are Carolyn Insler’s stained-glass panels and Mary Beth McClure’s fused-glass bowls, platters, and wall décor. A different type of assemblage are Leslie Dulin’s robots and framed collection of found objects.
In-Town Gallery, founded in 1974, is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year and is one of the oldest cooperative galleries in the nation. It presents the original work of more than 30 regional studio artists. Located at 26A Frazier Ave., between the Market Street and Walnut Street bridges, it is adjacent to Coolidge Park on the North Shore of the Tennessee River.
The gallery is open every day year-round except major holidays. Hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, and until 8 p.m. on First Fridays. Call 267-9214, visit www.intowngallery.com or www.facebook.com/intowngallery.