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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Art in the Garden, Fall 2007

By Anne Bouie

It takes a cold, cold day early in December to cause on to reflect upon the glorious days of the drifting leaves, gentle winds, warm glow of a golden autumn day in the garden—especially the garden to T.H.Gomillion, artist, organizer, and host with the most. His diverse talents as artist, organizer, and guardian of the groves were on display, and appreciated by artists and those who attended both days.

Artists were graciously placed along meandering walkways and graveled paths. There was Jackie Lee by Gomillion, also Al Burts and John Beckley, all the artists were in place, like flowers displaying their beauty.

The day's beauty provided by Mother Earth, and the artfully tended grounds were the context for a complex, yet complementary collection of artists and their work. Appreciative guests asked questions and dialogued with themselves and with the artists.

Artists shared their insights and processes, support with one another. It is especially important that artists get to know one another, because we keep an eye on one another's progress, growth and evolution. I noticed with pleasure and awe how Sharon Keyser tapestries have increased in refinement, depth and complexity. She shared some of her newest creations: tapestries with fine, sharp finishing and details galore. I was especially struck by her rendition of Africa; a new work in hues of olive was beautifully sewn and constructed.

Virginia Green from Maryland presented an array of work . She shared a painting of a glorious and proud macaw, perched on a branch that looked almost at home in the trees of North East Washington. Her use of colors was clear, simple and direct, and a small rendition of standing stones helped one center and meditate right on the spot. Hampton Olfus rendered the passion, depth and beauty of Bahia as rarely seen, and clearly through eyes which identified with the people, their journey, and their story. He travels to Bahia, and takes reams of photographs from which he then chooses the most powerful and revealing to create canvases of profound beauty, which somehow conceal as much as they reveal.

Clarence Page presented metal pressings of intricate plants captured all of the nuances and textures of graceful woodland flora. Clayton Lang presented a powerful mixed media in black leather on a white background, and his evolution as an artist in the tradition of fine leather craftsmen continues, as does George Smith in his linoleum printing.

Michael Gormley provided music that enhanced a day that stimulated and soothed us all. As we enter that phase of the year that the Taos Pueblo calls, "the Time of Keeping Still", when days are short, nights long, and we retreat inside with warmth and family, it is good to remember, and prepare for the next gathering of artists and art lovers in Gomillion's Art In The Garden.

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