Uptown Blanco Art Center hosted an open house and artist reception last Friday to open their new art gallery, located in the center on 3rd Street. Blanco artist Suzette Connell and her multi-media and layering artwork were the first to be presented by the new gallery at its grand opening.
“The entire evening was delightful,” said Suzette about the reception. “I appreciated everyone who was able to be there with me to share the experience. It certainly wouldn’t have been the same without those folks.”
Thirty to forty people from Austin, San Antonio, Spring Branch, Wimberley, Johnson City, and, of course, Blanco made it to the reception to meet the artist.
“The room was full of laughter, smiles, and by several accounts ‘had such a bright, happy atmosphere,’” Suzette said. “I’m told that this is precisely what my artwork does to people and their attitude; that it brightens and lifts your mood at the same time it challenges you to wonder and think. And this is what I saw happen to those in attendance on Friday evening.”
Suzette said the exhibit, titled “Common Beauty,” is exemplified by the Thoreau quote, “It’s not what you are looking at that matters, it’s what you see.”
“I want to challenge everyone to take time to consider the overlooked elements in life and the beauty found within them,” explained Suzette.
“When someone has walked up to a piece of my artwork such as ‘Only Alone’ for example, and says ‘Ah! I love this!’ and proceeds to tell me what they see, how could it not be fun for me?” recalled Suzette.
“‘Only Alone’ is the celebration of pain and how your own spirit is ‘strained’ through the pain, to come out the other side as a thing of beauty, in and of itself. The bottom of the piece is full of broken glass and crystals. “‘Sticks and Stones and Words of Hope’ is another one of my pieces that prompts many ‘that’s wonderful!’ type comments, as does the large commissioned triptych, ‘La Vie: a Journey of one life in three continents.’ The owner of ‘La Vie’ handed me a box of torn photos, and assorted memories from several trips that held great meaning to them, then challenged me to create something to celebrate the special memories. I adore helping others celebrate those moments and would love to be challenged again and again in this way!”
The exhibit will be on display at Uptown Blanco Art Center for three more weeks. The center is open to everyone on Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment on Saturdays. ”Common Beauty” is not only an exhibition of Suzette’s artwork; many of the items are for sale for people to take home or give to others as gifts.
“It’s a beautiful space that [Uptown Blanco Art Center] has opened up for us to enjoy,” Suzette said, “and I hope that many people will take the time to come enjoy the exhibit while it is up. It is an honor to be the initial artist to be highlighted at the new gallery; we’ve unofficially nicknamed it ‘The Purple Door Gallery.’”
Suzette is available for commission work with mixed media, portraits, and photography, and will also be leading adult and children’s classes this fall at the Art Center.
“I’ll facilitate groups in Mixed Media, and the sessions will incorporate drawing, painting, and other creative expression,” Suzette said. “I love being a Mixed Media Artist because I love creating so many varied types of things and they all fit within Mixed Media work! My work incorporates my love of nature, my photography, my love of rocks and crystals/glass, my drawing and painting work, my wire wrapping and jewelry work, and more.”
Uptown Blanco Art Center is taking names now; however, space is limited. The center will take names for future sessions after the classes fill.
Call 830-833-2415 or visit www. uptownblanco.com for information on upcoming exhibits, classes, artists, and more.