RCAA Membership Show in Paris gallery opens June 17

Bottle Cap Paintings-Elise Spaid-Roberts
Bottle Cap Paintings-Elise Spaid-Roberts

More than 30 works by members of River City Art Association will be featured June 17 through July 15 in the Link Art Gallery at Paris, Illinois.

An opening reception is scheduled 5 to 6:30 p.m. CDT June 17 in the gallery at 132 S. Central Ave. Regular viewing hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

The Terre Haute-based artist collective has about 25 members. Mediums include fused glass and clay wall decor; pen, ink, graphite and pastel drawings; oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings; etched glass; mixed media; traditional and creative photography; wood carvings and other sculpture.

Eden, oil by Mary Mayhew

Participating artists include Edith and Richard Acton, Debra Butler, Dian Der Ohanian Phillips, Lynne Dunnavant, Mary Mayhew, Jan McVay, Elise Spaid-Roberts, Todd Stokes, Sheila K. Ter Meer, Thomas Wright.

Rising Hope-Oil painting-Lynne Dunnavant-ForLinkGallery
Rising Hope, oil by Lynne Dunnavant

RCAA was established in 2008 by founding members Debbie Martinez and her late husband Marty, Ruthann Brady, Adrianus Fraza, Kit Fisher, and the late Rob Robbins and Monty “Indiana” Jones. Membership is open to Indiana and Illinois artists, age 18 and older.

In addition to hosting an annual juried exhibition in August, RCAA promotes an Artist of the Month in the Vigo County Public Library. It also showcases members in RCAA’s community outreach gallery in Terre Haute Regional Hospital and curates Wabash Valley artists for outreach galleries at two other Terre Haute locations.

The non-profit organization meets at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. For location, like River City Art Association on Facebook. To join RCAA, call vice president Todd Stokes at 812-870-8252 or download a membership form on this website.

For more information on the RCAA membership show in the Link Art Gallery call 217-466-8130 or visit http://www.linkartgallery.org.

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Watercolor artist RCAA’s June Artist of the Month

“Mystic Melody,” Best of Show, RCAA 13th Annual Juried Exhibition, 2021

River City Art Association’s June Artist of the Month is Jan McVay of Tangier, Indiana. A sampling of her many talents will be on display through June 30 in the Vigo County Public Library at Terre Haute, Indiana.

Jan is a resident of Parke County, Indiana. She went to college in Ohio majoring in art and education, taking the opportunity her junior year to study in Switzerland.

For 24 years Jan taught art and photography at Southmont High School near Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Several years ago she took a watercolor class in Provence, France.

As an active long-standing member of the Covered Bridge Art Association in Rockville, Indiana, Jan’s main medium is watercolor. In addition, Jan is a photographer and dabbles in a variety of other art forms.

Sub-Marine Jan McVay Abstract April CBAA

In August 2021, Jan’s work received Best of Show and a 1st Place in RCAA’s 13th Annual Juried Exhibition in Terre Haute, IN. More recent, Jan’s “Sub-Marine” mixed media piece received a Second Place in the 2022 Abstract April show in the Covered Bridge Art Gallery.

Other “water-themed” works in Jan’s exhibit at the VCPL will complement the library’s summer reading program, Oceans of Possibilities.

“Growing up in Miami, I spent a lot of time around the water.  Also I like solitude which is difficult to get in Miami.  Maybe that is why I moved to rural Indiana.  My art work has a variety of styles and techniques.”

Beach Medley: Many different elements are used here over a simple watercolor painting.  Shells are embossed in the sand.  A variety of debris from the beach, and a gull feather round out this piece.This is how I envision Sanibel Island in 1960 when I camped under the Australian pines.

Beach Hut: Depicting a hot quiet midday, this watercolor speaks to my condition.

Pelicans at Black Point: This is a color photograph even though it looks black and white.  Pelicans are my favorite bird. These guys were sitting on the end of the empty boat slips. I love the silhouette effect against the bright water.  Black Point is a favorite location for me south of Miami along the bay.

Coconut Grove Boardwalk: The straight geometric lines in this scene are what attracted me. Acrylic paint is my choice for such straight-edge work. I changed the dimensions of the boardwalk to suit my composition and was most surprised the next time I was on locations to see how short it really is.

Moon Over Miami: This is all collage, no painting.  It employs very limited color, contrast of values and a lot of texture.

Wet Sand: A young girl plays in the sand.  I think that is me.

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RCAA membership show at Community Theatre of Terre Haute

Carolyn Toops Gallery in Community Theatre of Terre Haute

Artwork by 11 River City Art Association members is on display May 12-25 in the Carolyn Toops Gallery at Community Theatre of Terre Haute.

Patrons can view the 17-piece show during box office hours for “Shrek the Musical” as well as before and after each performance.

Participating artists include Edith Acton, glass fusion/alcohol ink; Richard Acton, clay wall decor; Debra Butler, photography; Dian Der Ohanian Phillips, acrylic paintings, Mary Mayhew, oil paintings; Marcia Norman, shattered glass/mixed media; Sandy Ridge-Fisher, acrylic painting; Elise Spaid-Roberts, blackout poem/acrylic; Todd Stokes, photography/acrylic painting; Sheila K. Ter Meer, photography; and Thomas Wright, photography.

For more details on the musical visit CTTH.org.

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Demonstration by RCAA artist Kari Rajkumar before May membership meeting

River City Art Association member Kari Rajkumar of Paris, Illinois, gave a Live Portrait Drawing demonstration on May 10 before the RCAA membership meeting in the Vigo County Public Library at Terre Haute, Indiana.

Model was RCAA member Elise Spaid-Roberts of Terre Haute.

The event was free and open to the public. Attendees were encouraged to bring a sketchbook/notepad/pencil to follow along.

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Paintings, blackout poems by RCAA’s May Artist of the Month

Elise Spaid-Roberts of Terre Haute is River City Art Association’s May Artist of the Month featured in the lobby gallery of the Vigo County Public Library.

Haven by Elise Spaid-Roberts

Art has been a way to learn about myself and process the world around me, Elise states in her artist’s statement.

My main subject matter is landscapes and allows me a bit of escapism while I’m creating. Strong influences in my subject matter comes from trips through mountains growing up, The Outer Hebrides of Scotland I visited in 2011 and the storms of the midwest.

When I’m creating blackout poetry, I spend time finding words or phrases that stand out to me before marking out the rest. This requires a high degree of focus and consideration of the final image. I use these poems to guide the paintings I make for each poem.

I also create art on a tiny scale. I tend to be a bit more playful with this process and enjoy what I can fit into a small space. My tiny art may be landscapes or more fantastical like the bottle cap doors. It all is a way to express or rest as I need.

Artwork in Elise’s exhibit includes
“Haven” featured above, Blackout Poem, Acrylic on Canvas

“Fellowship Doors”
Mixed Media Tiny Art
*These are made to look like Hobbit doors, each door represents a member of the Fellowship from JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

Also featured will be “Spring Within”
Blackout Poem, Acrylic, Watercolor on Canvas

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Unique works of clay by RCAA artist featured in April at Vigo library

Unique clay artwork will be on display at the Vigo County Public Library during the month of April. The creator of the wall hangings is Richard Acton, a member of the River City Art Association. The Terre Haute, Indiana, artist’s work is being presented as RCAA’s Artist of the Month.

“Country Cottage” is just one example of Acton’s clay designs.

Country Cottage-Richard Acton

Country Cottage-clay design by Richard Acton

Acton’s background has been a Master of Science Degree from ISU in Industrial Arts Education, teaching at local high schools plus Maintenance supervisor at a local factory for the majority of his working years. During this time he was married and had three children; a son and two daughters. Although his busy life left very little time for artwork he soon developed a curiosity for creating clay works. He attended several classes to learn about how to manipulate clay into interesting art pieces. Classes were in North Carolina at John Campbell’s Art School, Indiana State University’s clay classes, and Vigo County Clay Classes to name a few of the efforts used to learn about his chosen medium.

The ability to create, imagine, visualize, improvise and manipulate a medium is what describes and person that can be called an artist. It does not always depend on the medium but the artist’s ability to turn it into a pleasing piece of artwork. After several learning years that is what Richard is able to do with his clay works. Not wanting to use the clay to make the typical pots and bowls he developed an unusual way to make new pieces from clay. The clay is used as a background for pictures of different things in our surroundings. There are pictures of tiny houses, lighthouses, leaves, rabbits, birds, etc. and all of them with the medium of clay.

River City Art Association meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the VCPL. Also like its Facebook page.

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RCAA artists illustrate themes from 2022 NEA Big Read selection “Beloved” for March exhibit at Vigo library

Sethe’s Beloved by Dian Der Ohanian Phillips

An art exhibit inspired by “Beloved,” a Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Toni Morrison, opens March 1 in the Vigo County Public Library at Seventh and Poplar streets in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Several themes from the 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection will be illustrated by works in River City Art Association’s Artist of the Month gallery space in the lobby.

“Beloved” centers around Sethe, a runaway slave who kills her infant daughter to save her from a life of slavery, and the malevolent spirit of baby Beloved, who returns 18 years later to haunt her mother.

The power of love, guilt and agonizing grief, and desperation to overcome adversity are recurring scenes in the novel that Elise Spaid-Roberts interprets through the words in three of her blackout poetry paintings.

“Despair, No Stars, No Rudder,” an etched glass piece by Todd Stokes, and “Oppression,” an abstraction on canvas by Sheila K. Ter Meer, are perceptions of the physical, emotional and psychological torment Sethe’s family and friends endured to escape the brutality and indignity of slavery.

Dian Der Ohanian Phillips pulled colorful imagery from Morrison’s pages to create a watercolor on paper titled “Sethe’s Beloved,” as well as a charcoal and pastel drawing of Sethe wrapped in a quilt with two orange patches. “Brief Solace” represents warmth, comfort and protection from the cold reality of an unjust institution, especially against African-American women.

Another quilt representation created by fused glass artisan Edith Acton is believed to be one of the quilt codes for escaped slaves to follow on the Underground Railroad. The secret message of the Bear Paw block pattern assured them that they would find food and water.

Morrison’s “evocative and moving” writing also inspired Mary Mayhew’s “Future Promise,” an uplifting oil painting of the free character Denver, who shares a specific point in her life in a story she tells her sister, Beloved.

Artwork by an RCAA member is featured each month in the library. Membership details are on Facebook and at RiverCityArt.org.

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