artNotes from Hyde House: A Déjà Vu Gallery Visit 

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Cheryl Church's CHS Advanced Class of Art Students. Photo courtesy artCentral

At Hyde House this was another sunny almost-spring morning. Beautiful bright light was sweeping across the front porch and spilling through the tall gallery windows. As though magically animated, foils and metallics were sparkling and gleaming in the 48 artworks now on exhibit through March 18, 2023.

Right on time the morning’s guests, Cheryl Church’s advanced class of art students, made their déjà vu seasonal appearance. Arriving in an assortment of vehicles, including again a black-‘n’-white retired police car that appeared last year, they stood in the parking lot smiling their hellos.

Gathered inside we made introductions and had a photo op in the foyer. Cheryl (Ms. Church to her students) introduced the exhibition’s FOILED AGAIN! theme. I directed attention to the award ribbons identifying those artists and their art selected for special recognition by the exhibit’s juror, Nellie Mitchell, who tapped six recipients including: FIRST PLACE AWARD “Welcome to the Campsite, 1980s” by Diana Bray; SECOND PLACE AWARD “Be Mine” by Helen Kunze; THIRD PLACE AWARD “Passage to India” by Debbie Reed; BEST REFLECTION of EXHIBITION THEME AWARD “The Moon Danced while the Stars Sang” by Brenda Sageng; HONORABLE MENTION AWARD “Their Ethereal Peace” by Chadan Tomlin; and HONORABLE MENTION AWARD “Careening through the Universe” by their teacher Cheryl Church.

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Of course I took the opportunity to proudly celebrate Cheryl. Not only is she far into the third decade of her teaching career, she is also a muralist and a prolific studio artist favoring watercolor, the current High School Art Teacher of the Year as well as a creative contributing member of artCentral’s board of directors.

Before giving the young artists their freedom to tour the exhibit and our beautiful Hyde House, I suggested they proceed with two questions in mind and return prepared to share their thoughts around 1) which art work or works gave them a strong sense of connection, and 2) if they could endow one additional award which artist and art work would be the recipients?

The students wandered through the foyer, parlor and chandelier galleries downstairs then on up into the members gallery before exploring the lending library and boardroom boutique.

While we waited back downstairs for all the class to complete their touring, two students began to scroll their art photos in their phones. They pulled up and showed me their favorites. Almost all were rendered in black and white with pen and or pencil. Most were figurative expressions of strength and power. We discussed the challenges of learning anatomy and considered the progress that was being made in the art they showed me.

When asking my again gathered visitors to share their reflections on what they had seen regarding 1) which art work or works gave them a strong sense of connection, and 2) which artist and art work would be the recipients if one additional award could be endowed. Their thoughtful comments conveyed the depth of their looking and engaging.

More than one student spoke of being drawn to portrayals of power by Andrew Batcheller in “The Conqueror on Merciful Wings” and by Justin Kidston’s “Bring It All Down.” One young woman told of the joy she felt viewing Ginger Copeland’s two works composed of acrylic, gold leaf, foil, glass and resin. Admiration was expressed for the beauty of Janice Kinman’s “Evening Serenity”, the design work in Linda Passeri’s “Make Lunalove” and the intricate detailing found in Debbie Reed’s “Passage to India” and in Sandra Parrill’s “Wings of the Soul.”

Possibilities for a student bestowed award included the works of Andrew Batcheller, Roxenne Kendall, Jacque McDonald and my own Foiled Again Man.

Do come enjoy your own viewing of FOILED AGAIN! Weekend Gallery Hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.

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