A bear lounging in dandelions... an abandoned lighthouse forlorn in the fog... two wild mustangs battling it out in a boxing ring... turtles basking on a log in the sun... jewels glittering on a canyon’s cragged face... and an aged cross symbolizing holy essence at a historic church -- These just begin to describe an extraordinary collection of photography and art that has hallmarked the annual Dual Vision: Art Through Different Eyes Exhibition and Sale at The Artisan Village Art Gallery in Eatonton these past five years. This year’s show and sale promises to continue that tradition.
Inspiration and interpretation
Dual Vision: Art Through Different Eyes opens with a free public reception September 15 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the beautiful, historic Barrel 118 located in downtown Eatonton at 118 N. Jefferson Ave. You can view the full exhibition, enjoy refreshments, and vote for your favorite artwork and photography to win this year’s “People’s Choice Award.” The exhibition continues at Barrel 118 through Saturday, Sept. 24, Wednesday - Friday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The show will then be moved to the TAVG Gallery, 11- W. Marion St., Eatonton, where it can be viewed through the end of October during the same hours mentioned above.
Since artwork is not installed for public exhibition until after a members-only “Reveal” in early September, Lakelife takes a look back at works from past exhibitions and talks with photographers and artists about what inspired them.
But first, a few words about this year’s upcoming event. The Artisans Village Guild Chairwoman Linda Foster says, “To create Dual Vision: Art Through Different Eyes, members of Associated Photographers of Lake Oconee bring their best photos. TAVG member artists pick one or two photographs to interpret in an art medium they choose. Results are fascinating!”
Ken Johnson, APLO chairman and Dual Vision coordinator, notes, “Our photographers attempt to capture beauty as they see it in real life. It can be clouds above haybales, unique colors of rock formation the light hits just right, the elegance and beauty of wildlife free in nature, or some combination of these. That very moment can never be repeated, so capturing it in film or digital form seems important,”
A photographer’s view
Photographer Diane Byers talks of inspiration from a different perspective – famous works by noted artists, in particular, painter Erin Hanson. Noting that last year, she found a tree in California that was featured in one of Hanson’s paintings, Byers says, “My joy was to bring my own creative photograph skills to capturing an image of the same tree.”
An artist’s view
On the other side of Dual Visions’ creative process, TAVG artist Donna Abrams selected Byer’s photography as inspiration for a paper collage painting.
“The choice of the lone cypress was a quick fix,” she says. “There it was...strength and beauty standing alone, facing bravely elements of its singular life. I'm sure its roots are deep and its view excellent! I knew gold paper would "pop" (when) positioned in front of a subtle blue Pacific painted with acrylic. It was so much fun when the paper started to ‘speak’ the photograph and tell it’s story of this lone cypress.”
A photo of box turtles rekindled childhood memories for sculptor Monica Moser. “Long, long ago, my parents gave me a turtle as a pet,” she recalls. “It surely wasn’t cuddly, fuzzy and snuggly. …but it was a companion for a single child. Eons later, I now watch a whole herd of its lookalikes… and I remember summer is coming, there is warmth and togetherness. Since these never let me come close, I have to make my own.” Moser integrated 3D and 2D elements to create turtle figures so realistic that gallery visitors often ask if they were harvested from the wild.
Photography translates into a basket’s design
Basket artist Dee Knudson notes that photographer Ulrich Moser’s photo of Marriott Marquis Atlanta’s sky elevator track was the connecting point for her handwoven basket’s upward slant of reeds weaved with silver beads.
“From the bottom, I visualize a strong, solid foundation holding the upper layers from the hotel’s reception area to restrooms with stunning views, mezzanine with
business center and ballroom. Travel upward by the illuminated Glass Sky Elevator. From the top, dining options, spa, gym, pool and penthouse,” she says.
A catalyst for fun and friendship
Watercolorist Steve Kippels says Ken Johnson’s photo of wild mustangs made him think of George Bellows’ famous painting of club boxing in NYC, “Stag Night at Sharkey’s,” in which Bellows painted himself in, sketching the scene at the edge of the boxing ring.
“I painted Ken’s mustangs in a boxing ring and put Ken with his camera where Bellows was in the original painting,” Kippels says with a mischievous grin.
Inspired by Cherry Leverette’s wildlife photography, artist Gale Godfrey calls her bear “Smooch ‘N The Dandelions.”
“It’s a pleasure to give inspired photography a dual life by painting its essence and be part of a community that celebrates all art forms,” she says.
Artist Jill Vaghn says that when Marita Fisher submitted a photo of a beautiful flower, she could not resist the opportunity to paint it. “I tried to capture the lovely colors of nature. I started with an acrylic underpainting, then switched to water-based oils to blend colors and give justice to natural flower colors. Background color was a real fluke, but it turned out beautifully.”
Artist Becky Sherrll’s necklace and earrings were inspired by a photograph of Antioch Baptist Church, a Georgia Trust Places site. “Stacy Dissmeyer captures beautifully its bold architectural lines unobscured by surrounding landscape,” she describes. “And the church is in peril and needs preservation funds. My design reflects that unique boldness and symbolizes the use of found materials to preserve the past. The cross and crystal, while new, appear worn. Transparent green glass beads represent each window and its faded green trim.”
This year’s upcoming “Dual Vision: Art Through Different Eyes” will again represent the power of photography and art to touch our hearts, stir our senses and even sooth our souls.
For more information, contact TAVG at 706-623-7757 or google theartisansvillage.org.
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Story by Judi Collins, photos contributed by The Artisans Village Art Gallery and Associated Photographers of Lake Oconee. Published in the July-August 2022 edition of Lakelife magazine.