A childhood love of fairy tales has grown into unique art for a Dublin photographer whose recent works are on display at Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley through Nov. 22. A “meet the artist” reception will be held Sunday, Oct. 27, 2-4 p.m., at the center, 21 W. Main St., Pulaski.
Recent works by Susan Gibas, a portrait artist and graphics/media specialist, focus on transforming “mortal children into mystical fairies” in such a way that the resulting images become heirloom quality pieces of fine art to be passed down through the ages. She said she chose fairies as her specialty because of her own childhood love of fairy tales and her love of children in general.
“Imagination and art are very important in child development and learning problem-solving skills; and both are keys to advanced thinking,” said Gibas. “Children often use their imaginations to transfer their readings into play activities, including dressing as fairies.”
During her unique photography sessions, children have an opportunity to put their imaginations to work “and visualize what it would be like to be a real fairy,” she said. The experience is complete when the children are able to incorporate their imagination with Gibas’ custom-made costumes and sets and her own interactive techniques that “bring out the fairy in every little girl.”
A life-long photographer and visual artist, Gibas has won numerous awards over the years and has studied professional portraiture with some of the countries top portrait artists and photographers, including Jennifer Hudson, Tim Kelly, Larry Peters and Lou Freeman.
The quality of her photography was recognized at an early age, when she won a national photography contest at the age of nine. She developed her first roll of film at 11 and learned to print black and white photographs while attending Pulaski County High School. She advanced to printing color while studying photography at Radford University, then later transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University, where she received a bachelor of fine arts degree in visual communications, arts and design. Her minor was in photography.
Gibas’ work was presented at the Chautauqua Festival in Wytheville in June and at the Arts and Crafts Fair in Floyd earlier this month. She has been accepted into the juried Fine Arts and Crafts show to be held at Virginia Tech Nov. 8-10.
For more information on Gibas’ work, visit www.facebook.com/wildwoodfairies.