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The Villages
Thursday, June 8, 2023

La Galleria ‘Inspired by the Masters’ art reception offers inspiration

Show judge, Rich Woy, poses with Billie Edwards' first place acrylic, 'Italian Water Garden,' inspired by Claude Monet. At right is the exhibit chair, Catherine Sullivan.
Show judge, Rich Woy, poses with Billie Edwards’ first place acrylic, ‘Italian Water Garden,’ inspired by Claude Monet. At right is the exhibit chair, Catherine Sullivan.

The Villages Art League’s Third Annual “Inspired by the Masters” exhibit Saturday afternoon reception at La Galleria in La Hacienda Recreation Center was well attended, and well, inspiring.

More than 40 works by Villages artists were creatively hung, with a depiction of the well known masterpiece which inspired each work of art shown nearby.

Exhibit chair, Catherine Sullivan, whose pastel composition, “Twirling,” based on Edgar Degas’ ballet dancer painting, “‘L’Etoile”  (The Star, 1876), received the second place ribbon.

VAL artist' Diana Crow's composition, called "Golf Cart Heaven," inserted golf carts into a milieu inspired by Monet.
VAL artist’ Diana Crow’s composition, called “Golf Cart Heaven,” inserted golf carts into a milieu inspired by Monet.

“What if the great artists of history were painting today — what would their artwork look like?” The VAL again challenged its artist members to choose a recognizable work of art, from such well known artists as John James Audubon, Paul Cezanne, Francisco Goya, Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keefe, Jackson Pollock, Francois Renoir or Norman Rockwell, among others, and act on their inspiration.

Each artist created his or her own original composition, reflecting  what they thought each famous artist may have  pondered while creating their special images  years ago. The VAL artists captured the feelings and emotions  the famous  masterworks evoked for them, and/or the masters’ techniques, in their present day work.

Exhibit judge and versatile artist, Richard Woy, is a member of the Ocala Artist Group and the Ocala Plein Air Painters. His realistic painting style, which he manifests in all mediums, evolved from his earlier pursuit of medical illustration. For decades, he has  studied classical artists/Old Masters under the tutelage of a variety  of talented instructors

Fernandina Villager, Billie Edwards was elated her Claude Monet-inspired acrylic painting, “Italian Water Garden,” received the first place ribbon. She really enjoyed working with Monet’s famous serene ‘Water Lilies’ composition.

Fernandina Villager, Connie Giacobbie's, Italian Mosaic,​ inspired by Botticelli's Primavera, received an honorable mention.
Fernandina Villager, Connie Giacobbie’s, Italian Mosaic,​ inspired by Botticelli’s Primavera, received an honorable mention.

Artist Connie Giacobbie, also from the Village of Fernandina, fielded a lot of viewer questions about how she created her mosaic composition. She explained to Villa Valdez resident, Vivian Chaska, how the square mosaics were relatively easy to place in  her work, whereas some of the smaller, round tiles were a challenge to adhere . Her work  evoked the fresh springtime mood of Botticelli’s  “Primavera,” created in 1482.

Jeannie Willette’s colored ink  “French Girl,” inspired by Gustave Klimt’s “Rita Munk,” received honorable mention and lots of attention. Hanging above it, artist Diana Crow’s oil painting entitled ‘Golf Cart Heaven,’ inserted golf carts into a depiction of Monet’s famous Giverny Garden Path. Also inspired by Klimt’s work, this time his “Woman in Gold,” Nancy Divinis’ honorable mention mixed media collage, was entitled “Gilded Girl.”

St. James Villager, Annabelle Irazarry, found Terri Behar's watercolor collage 'Blooming' attractive.
St. James Villager, Annabelle Irazarry, found Terri Behar’s watercolor collage ‘Blooming’ attractive.

Fledgling artist and retired sociologist,  Annabelle Irizarry, from St. James Village, who is studying with local artist Judy Adams, was transfixed by Terri Behar’s watercolor collage “Blooming,” and several of the other exhibited paintings.  Behar’s work evolved from Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm,” and used rose and blue hues similar to Irizarry’s blouse.

In the photography category, Betty Eich’s first place “Orchid” photo on canvas was inspired by the popular Georgia O’Keefe painting of the same name. Helen Poor’s photographic composition: “Sunset Schooner — Key West,” came from her viewing Winslow Homer’s painting: “Sunset Fires.”

This especially noteworthy art show, which is co-sponsored by The Villages Recreation Department, will be on display  at La Hacienda Regional Recreation Center, near Spanish Springs Town Square, until Dec. 5.

There is no charge to enjoy the exhibit, and it is open to the public. The group also has a continual display of Villages artists’ work at the Eisenhower Recreation Center, which is changed out every two months.

For more information, contact VAL co-presidents: Diane Andrus at 751-4824 or Jeannie Willette at 205-1054.

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