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Menagerie of Art features wide variety of exhibits

By WILLIAM PAINE

william.paine@southwesttimes.com

The Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley is now holding a Menagerie Art Exhibit at their gallery on 21 West Main Street in Pulaski. Each year, the Fine Arts Center of the NRV puts out a call to regional artists to display their works for this recurring art exhibit.

This year’s Menagerie Art Exhibit feature artworks done in a variety of mediums including photography, wood carvings, glass and metal bead work, drawings, acrylics, oils, water colors, metal sculpture and even a three dimensional painting.

Fine Arts Center for the NRV volunteer, Janie Hurd Akers explained the idea behind the exhibit.

“It’s an opportunity for these artists, who don’t normally exhibit what they do, to put it out here and share it with the public and they can put a price on it if they’re interested in selling it,” she said.

There is an abundance of photographs in this year’s Menagerie exhibit, including over 50 which were sent in as part of the Tammy Parks art show, Random Beauty. These neatly arranged photographs were each produced by a different photographer and are both beautiful and entirely random, showing flowers, lizards, butterflies, a lama, dogs, buildings, rock structures in a creek, men with tall hats, balconies, landscapes, vegetables and the Claytor Lake Dam, just to name a few.

Apart from these photographs, there are 20 more artists, some fairly well-known, who have displays at this year’s Menagerie Exhibit.

Husband and wife team, Ed and Martha Biggar produced an interesting piece of jewelry for the show by the name of the Fabulous Bat. Ed Biggar made the glass beads featuring colorful bat shapes using the “Torch Bead Process” method.

Martha Biggar, who is also the chairwoman of the program committee for the Fine Arts Center for the NRV, made the metal work to connect the necklace. Hanging from the lower end of the necklace is a bat shaped pendant which looks disconcertingly real. It should, because the pendant is made from a real bat that was dipped into a metal solution to produce a bat cast. The bat was reportedly found, not alive, before being dipped.

Carrie Gilboy, who has shown works at the Main Street gallery before, has some acrylic paintings for sale at the show, as does regionally well-known painter R.L. Thomas whose Winter Wash acrylic painting is up for sale. Artist Brenda Clark made a chair seat woven from men’s ties, entitled Rest on Shades of Red. As with many other art pieces at the Menagerie, such as Gerald Handy’s wooden sculpture entitled Caged Indian, there is no price tag on the piece but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is not for sale.

Sugar Grove native Jack Taylor, who signs his art JARATA, has a painting entitled Innocent on display at the show. The painting’s contorted subject is unusual but becomes even more so when the viewer dons the 3-D glasses provided on a nearby pedestal. Looking through these glasses the painting truly does appear three dimensional.

The Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley website says of the latest Menagerie, “There are no judgment calls, themes or restrictions on the show, so everyone is sure to find something they like or that interests them.”

This is true, especially if one believes that variety is the spice of life.

This annual exhibit is currently on display at the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley, Monday through Friday. Admission is free and open to the public. A Closing Reception will be held Sunday, Sept. 23, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.

For additional information contact the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley at 540-980-7363.

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