Opening Sunday, Sept. 9 in West Point’s Louise Campbell Center for the Arts is a new exhibit featuring Columbus artists Kay Calaway, Elayne Goodman and Judy Howle. The opening reception is from 2-3:30 p.m., with the artists participating in a gallery talk at 2:30 p.m.
An Exhibit by Extraordinary Women aptly describes the bold and innovative style each of the three artists uses to express themselves. Alternate routes to develop and refine their individual methods of representation have played a huge part in each journey. All three either graduated or studied at Mississippi University for Women but have embraced the self-taught method to expand their skills.
About the artists
After raising a family and in the middle of her career, Kay Calaway became disabled and could no longer hold a full-time job. Her creative juices kicked in and she turned to making jewelry from recycled “finds.”
The self-avowed Queen of Columbus yard and estate sales, Calaway creates whimsical foot stools, doll houses and decorative objects from recycled items.
“From my first creative effort — a paper angel in the second grade — I have been fascinated with creating art from the unexpected. I helped my grandmother boil chinaberries and made beads with the centers,” she explained.
Elayne Goodman is known for her bold, bright collage compositions. Recurring subjects include Elvis, Bible stories and fish depicted with unexpected recycled items such as bottle caps, beads, needlework, mirrors and almost anything else she and her husband find at flea markets or garage sales. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, with exceptionally high color and bold composition.
“The genesis of my art style comes from my childhood in rural Mississippi,” Goodman said. “In the depression era we had limited materials and time for creativity. I learned to waste neither. I regard everything as potential art material and am shameless in my search.”
Photography, computer imaging, mixed media collage and painting are preferred by Judy Howle. Nature, landscape and travel photography are especially intriguing, as she likes to manipulate her images using a computer program to express her artistic vision of subjects or scenes she captures.
“About 6 years ago I discovered digital scrapbooking and digital collage art,” Howle explained. “I soon became addicted to creating scrapbook pages with my large collection of old family photos, some dating to the 1800s.
“Now I mostly create fun and whimsical collages using graphics available online, but the compositions are my own and can be created from many sources, including items I have scanned in my own collection of ephemera and photographs.”
All three women credit the support and encouragement of others that has pushed them to excel in their chosen style. The art faculty at MUW, Studio 206 and the Rosenzweig Arts Center in Columbus are cited as having played a role in their successes.
Sponsored by the West Point/Clay County Arts Council, the exhibit will hang through Oct. 31.
The LCCA will be staffed some Wednesdays from 1-4 p.m. for visitors to see the show. For more information or to schedule a tour of the exhibit at another day or time, contact Kathy Dyess, 662-494-5678, or Julie Gray, 295-0461.
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