Mark Wilson Photo
Art lovers check out the work of the 30th annual International Juried Art Show at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, Tuesday.
Record Staff Writer
There is a tender modesty mixed with wisdom in his eyes. His mane encircles his face, vibrant with greens, blues, oranges, yellows and teals. It feels like he is studying the viewer, as if he knows more about you than you thought he could.
“The Lion Knows” is just one of many art pieces displayed in the 30th annual Roswell Fine Arts League (RFAL) Juried Art Show. Walking through the peaceful exhibit, it’s easy to see that each piece is unique in its technique and style, but also in the story it tells and the emotions it elicits. For artist Peggy Krantz, her lion has received a lot of attention.
“I was trying to capture what I saw in Africa,” she explains. “The lion was so secure in his manner, like he knew he was king. But he didn’t have an attitude about it. He just had this all knowing look about him.” According to many who pass by the lion’s stare, Krantz achieved her goal. His dynamic eyes tell their own story.
And it was the stories that judges and jurors were looking for. Of course artistic ability and competence were factors, but more so than that artists were challenged to tell a story and speak to people’s emotions through their artwork, said publicity chair volunteer Joyce Tucker.
“(The judges) were looking for that elusive quality that draws you into the piece,” she says. And many artists rose to the occasion.
Every piece is unique. Linda Gilmore takes you on a voyage to the edge of the sea with her painting “Land and Sea.” You can almost taste the salty air and feel the breeze as the waves crashed against the cliff side.
Moving from sea to harbor, United Kingdom artist Joyce Rowsell pulls you into her paintings with her exquisite attention to detail. In “The Prospect Inn, Exeter, Devon,” even though only about five inches long and three inches high, every detail is crisp and clear as day, right down to writing on a restaurant sign or the umbrella at a table.
And then some paintings, instead of transporting you to a different land, make you look inside yourself and simply feel the emotions. Paul Maurer from Serafino does just this with “Raven I” and “Raven II,” pieces that, although both depict a wild series of strokes to present images of ravens, each give off a very different emotion. “Raven I” feels angry and dangerous, whereas “Raven II” is more regal and pensive.
Also eliciting to emotions, but in a very different form of art, is Stephanie DeFranco in a couple of photography pieces. In “Can’t Let Go,” she shows a stirring self-portrait of her back with clinging hands holding tightly as arms wrap her in a tight hug.
“I wanted something that showed (being) sheltered,” DeFranco explains of her portrait. “Like someone who loves you so much that they can’t let you go, and they just want to hold you forever. And that’s where the multiple hands come from. There are my hands holding onto what I hold dear, and another set of hands that are somebody else’s that can’t let go of you.”
But she also speaks to emotions in a piece of a girl floating just below a pool’s water surface, entitled “Red.” The light dances across the floor, and an added retro coloring gives the picture further feeling. The flowing skirt is inspired by dance, DeFranco said, but in general the picture was a “happy accident,” taken from a chance to experiment with an underwater camera.
Of the seven photos she submitted, four of DeFranco’s pieces made it into the show. And she said the three that didn’t make it were landscapes, whereas the ones in the show are focused on people.
“They are different,” she says. “You don’t normally see that sort of thing in art shows. There are not usually people, so the different genre I think helped them stand out.”
Sponsored in part by City of Roswell Lodgers Tax Fund as well as Excel Energy, the Juried Art Show will be on display at Roswell Museum and Arts Center, 100 W. 11th St., through Sunday, at which point a People’s Choice Award will be given out to the art piece with the most votes.