The League of Fine Artists-South can almost be described as a "Justice League" of Southern Crescent and metro-area artists. Members of the league, each tested and accomplished in his or her own right, represent different artistic mediums, including, but not limited to, photography, ceramics, pencil sketches, acrylic paint, oils, and fused glass.
From now until Aug. 27, the works of the League of Fine Artists-South will be on display at the Arts Clayton Gallery in Jonesboro, in a new exhibit called, "Potpourri."
Another exhibit, "Tradition and Innovation," a collection of classical and forward-thinking art works, will also be on display at the gallery through Sept. 24.
According to Arts Clayton Gallery Manager Karen Powers, the "Potpourri" exhibit will represent the gallery's first collaboration with the league. She said the exhibit will contain the works of: oil, graphite and mixed-media artist Eleanor "Honey" Corbin; photographer Paul Conlan; oil and acrylic-painter Donna Matthews; fused-glass artist Licha Ochoa Nicholson; and acrylic-painter and ceramic-artist Rosalind Webb.
"One of our goals with this show was to show that there are artists groups on the Southside that are actively showing their work," Powers said. "It's a lot of different points of view. It's kind of the definition of ‘Potpourri' ... it's a little bit of this and a little bit of that."
Corbin, who serves as vice president and spokesperson for the league, said that all of its members are "juried in," meaning that their work must be judged by other professional artists before being allowed to be a part of the group. She said the diversity of works exhibited by the artists will help viewers "expand their focus."
"The intention [of the league] was to raise the level of art that people were seeing and to present new and interesting works of art to the public," Corbin said. "That is why we have a mixed group. They get to experience expanded exposure to different types of art, not just paints and drawings all the time.
"With our group, there is a little bit of photography, a little bit of ceramics, fused glass ... it's thought-provoking, [and] it will make you stop and think, ‘What is this artist trying to say?'"
While the "Potpourri" exhibit will feature a variety of three-dimensional and two-dimensional works, the "Tradition and Innovation" exhibit focuses on two-dimensional works which explore romantic and futuristic themes, according to Powers.
"It ranges from things that are very traditional, to things that are innovative," Powers said. "We have a lot of works on canvas [and] it's light on photography. All of the work here is new to us and new to the artists.
Pieces in the "Tradition and Innovation" exhibit include paintings of Italian villas as well as abstract landscapes, reminiscent of the works of Salvador Dalí. Traditional portraits of African tribeswomen and movie stars hang beside unreal landscapes resembling the "Æon Flux," animated television series."
"Many artists really embraced the concept and theme of ‘innovative,' so it really gave us something rare and unique," Powers said.
In addition to the exhibits, Licha Ochoa Nicholson will host a free, fused-glass-making demonstration at the Arts Clayton gallery this Saturday, Aug. 14, from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m. During the exhibition, Nicholson, a student of the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, Wash., will show people how fused-glass art is made, using a portable kiln to melt and fuse together various metals and shades of glass.
"I started creating in 1982 with stained glass," Nicholson said. "It was in about 1998 that I decided that I needed to do something different. When you are creating stained glass, you are working from a pattern that is probably pre-made. It's a flat glass, you can't bend it. With fused glass, everything I create is my own creation ... it is of my own design."
For more information about the exhibits, or the free glass demonstration, call (770) 473-5457, or visit www.artsclayton.org/gallery.