The Members’ Art Shows, which take place twice a year in winter and in summer, are Marion Art Center Executive Director Deborah Bokelkamp’s favorite annual shows at the MAC.
“The members’ shows have always been a big part of what we do,” said Bokelkamp at the July 19 opening reception for the exhibition. “It always amazes me what a talented membership we have.”
Members of the MAC are allowed to submit up to three works of art for the juried art exhibition that runs until August 16.
Many of the works on display naturally reflect hints of summer, although summer-themed works of art were not required for consideration for the exhibition.
Still lifes of bright blossoms and ripened fruits tempt the onlooker to enter inside the world of the painting to smell the succulent blossoms and taste the tantalizing fruit, while watercolors capture moments of boats gently bobbing in the bay and sandcastles on the beach that exist forever in artist’s brushstrokes.
MAC member Alice Shire’s two pieces hang thoughtfully placed on the gallery walls. Her favorite of the two is a watercolor that hangs on the wall of the first floor – a summery bouquet of delicate yellow and purple flowers with three soft white roses. She said her other “boathouse inventory” watercolor that she started during a watercolor workshop took her three years to complete.
“Everybody was painting boats and harbor scenes – and I don’t do boats,” Shire laughed.
Mary Ross said she has been participating in the Summer Members’ Art Show practically every year. Her collage of color-dyed hand-made textured paper conjures up a dream-like Florida beach scene with soft subtle hues of sunrise.
“I was down in Florida,” said Ross, about the inspiration for this particular piece. “So you sit on the beach – what else do you got?”
Diane Parsons said she is still learning the art of watercolor, but by looking at her painting titled “Florence,” one would assume Parsons has found her connection between her imagination, her paintbrush, and the canvas.
Parsons painted the scene of the dome in Florence while remembering her trip to Italy two years ago and the dome was her favorite spot. She said she painted it for her daughter-in-law, but admitted it has been quite some time now and wondered if she could ever give it up at this point.
“I love painting Italy,” said Parsons. “Because I just love the memories.”
There are over 75 other wonderful works of art on display at the MAC, located at 80 Pleasant Street in Marion. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
The Marion Art Center was formed 57 years ago by townspeople who wanted to create a place where they could display their artwork. Bokelkamp said she loves the MAC’s mission statement as “an association to promote the arts, social fellowship, and companionship among its members … to interchange ideas and assist each other in helpful guidance…”
“It’s a beautiful reason to be,” said Bokelkamp.
By Jean Perry