RCAA artist portrays mental health in ‘Depression and Back’ collection in Vigo library

Parke County artist Christel Gutelius will share Part 2 of her “Depression & Back: A Retrospective” series of paintings in December as River City Art Association’s Artist of the Month in the Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Depression & Back, Part 1 by Christel Gutelius

The acrylic and mixed media pieces in Part 1 of her series, on display through Nov. 30 at the library, depict many of the overwhelming emotional and physical struggles that Gutelius tried to overcome through her art, which are evident in the titles, “Camo’d Chaos”, “Pain,” “Fatigue,” “Medicated” … and “Help.”

After creating the first 11 expressionistic milestones in her road to recovery from depression, Gutelius found herself at a turning point.

She had made a decision.

Help, acrylic by Christel Gutelius

“The question was ‘Am I going to sit here in this hole, just lay in it and give up,'” Gutelius said.

“I decided I needed to do something. What choices did I have? What could I change? What was unchangeable? St. Francis’ prayer became very real to me, and I wanted to explore the answers. In order to do that, I needed to be ruthlessly honest with myself.
So, ‘Speaking My Truth’ became a painting and I had to commit to that.”

Speaking My Truth-Crystel Gutelius

“Speaking My Truth” and eight other acrylic and mixed media pieces on display in December in the library will show a change in Gutelius’ approach to healing and therefore in her art.

She began painting her way back.

“While some may have found other means, because I am a Christian, when I dealt with my fear, I painted ‘Prayer,’ in which the blood of Christ flows from heaven directly down to me, because I chose to look to Him,” Gutelius said.

Grace by Christel Gutelius

“‘Grace’ was born out of a need to find forgiveness toward those who hurt me and to myself.

“When I tackled my intense anxiety, ‘Meditation’ and ‘Breath & Body’ were important to me. These two pieces show how I was paying attention to my breathing, and where in my body there was tension or pain, and I tried to gain a better flow of energy throughout.”

Gutelius also connected with nature when she could. “Feeling the breeze, hearing the sound of the leaves, the water on the shore, touching the trees, or tasting the rain in the air” inspired her paintings titled “Nature” and “Walking the Shore.”

Along the roads to Alabama to visit her son, Gutelius gained some perspective. “Couldn’t see the forest for the trees, comes to mind,” she said.

The painting, “Solidified Layers” came about “as I thought of how my doctor once told me that therapy was like an onion. Getting through all of the layers, so you know what the true issue is,” Gutelius said. “I really felt like it was more like a geode, with hard dense stone to grind at until you got to the gem.”

Gutelius said she has found a few gems over the course of her journey. She now pictures herself on “The Golden Path,” the last art piece in her retrospective series.

“I surround myself with caution (symbolized by orange in her mixed media piece) and remain diligent of thoughts, people, situations and surroundings, while doing my best in not allowing worry and anxiety to take control,” she said. “My truth is that I know in my deepest being that I receive the Divine Love of God, and through it all He was with me, even if at times I doubted His wisdom and could not feel Him there. I believe together we conquered my fear and I found forgiveness for myself and others.”

Gutelius said she still struggles, physically often, mentally and emotionally at times. “But, I have found my toolbox, and I’m not afraid to use it!”

By sharing her story through her artwork, she hopes that “someone else may find some tools that they can explore to find their own truths, and in doing so, find some peace and healing.”

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Artwork by Eloise Lovell featured in RCAA’s Outreach Gallery in Terre Haute Regional Hospital

Standoff at the Dock of the Bay-Eloise Lovell

Eloise Lovell is the featured artist now through mid-February in River City Art Association’s Community Outreach Gallery in Terre Haute Regional Hospital. Her display includes this featured painting, “Standoff at the Dock of the Bay.”

Eloise was a long-time resident of Parke County until recently moving to Vigo County.

She also creates “tangles.” One of her drawings, “Red Family Tangle,” received Second Place at RCAA’s 11th Annual Juried Exhibition in August.

2nd Place Drawing-Red Family Tangle-Eloise Lovell

And The Beet Goes On-Eloise Lovell

Another painting, “And The Beet Goes On,” was juried into Arts Illiana’s recent “Red” show.

Make it a point to stop in the cafeteria at Regional Hospital to see Eloise’s artwork.

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Valerie Funk RCAA’s November artist of the month at Vigo library

Sunset Road, quilt artistry by Valerie Funk

Abstract Black by Valerie Funk

Valerie Funk, an up and coming quilt artist from Terre Haute, Indiana is River City Art Association’s November artist of the month at the Vigo County Public Library.

Valerie graduated from Ivy Tech Community College where she earned her degree in photography and graphic design. After graduation she began exploring other creative mediums and discovered the ever-growing world of fiber arts and quilting.

Valerie has developed her own personal style of quilt artistry by merging her knowledge of art and design with her passion for fiber art and textiles. She often incorporates many elements of surface design into her works including thread painting, oil and acrylic paints, raw edge applique, beadwork, and other such embellishments. Her works include colorful landscapes and nature themes, realistic portraits, animals and wildlife, military tributes, and modern abstracts. Valerie has also designed an array of patterns and small group workshops to help share this creative art form with others.

Valerie’s work has been featured by American Quilt Retailer, Omni Threads, Gammill Quilting, and Paintbrush Studios a division of Fabri-Quilt.

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Photography by RCAA’s Thomas Wright featured in October at Vigo library

Bonsai, photographic image on metallic paper by Thomas Wright

River City Art Association member Thomas Wright of Clinton is the October Artist of the Month in the Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Wright, born and raised in Terre Haute, had a fascination for photography and art at a young age. He was always drawing or taking photographs. After saving enough of his hard earned money, he bought his first “real” camera from Galloway Photo Shops.
 While attending Terre Haute South Vigo High School, he became the lead photographer for the yearbook. He also continued to sharpen his skills behind the camera and became a sales associate at Galloway Photo.
After working at Galloway Photo for awhile, Wright was promoted to run the black and white photo finishing and copy lab. He continued to work for Galloway Photo for close to six years before taking a job at Sony DADC, where he was a printer for almost 32 years.
Wright left factory work due to health reasons and now concentrates on his photography. Wright prints all of his work himself at home whether for an art exhibit or personal everyday use. He uses high quality professional papers and inks specializing in metallic and pearl based papers. Using these specific professional metallic and pearl papers, the final images are produced with a truly realistic look and have a much more vibrant color reproduction to the final print in comparison to a normal matte, semi-gloss, or glossy surface print.
Wright has received several placement awards through the years entering his artwork in photography contests by TREES Inc. and in  the professional open class Fine Arts Department at the Vigo County Fair. In 2018 Wright became an active member of River City Art Association and Wabash Valley Art Guild and has entered many juried exhibitions and art shows promoted by the two groups. Wright received a first place award on his titled piece “Vertical Limits” at the 2018 WVAG Spring Fling show at Clabber Girl as well as an honorable mention on his titled piece “Frosted”. He received a second place on his titled piece “Blue to Chrome” at the 2018 Terre Haute First National Bank sponsored River City Summer art exhibit. In 2019 he received an honorable mention on his titled piece “Golden Reflections” in the Clabber Girl WVAG exhibit. He received a second place award on his titled piece “Golden Reflections” at the 2019 River City summer exhibit at Terre Haute First National bank. Most recent Wright received first place top honors on his titled piece “Reflective Past” at the 2019 Midwest Photography Show that was on exhibit at the Link Art Gallery in Paris, Illinois.
Wrights artist statement is “Life is too short, preserve its memories in a photo as tomorrow is never promised.”
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RCAA members’ artwork in Studio Twenty9 at Terre Haute through December

Studio 29 in Terre Haute

Several River City Art Association members have artwork for purchase October through December in Studio Twenty9 at 671 Wabash Ave. in downtown Terre Haute.

Artists include Edith and Richard Acton (fused glass and clay), Dian Der Ohanian Philips (paintings), Ruthann Brady (mixed media), Valerie Funk (quilt artistry), Monty “Indiana” Jones (paintings, drawings), Elise Spaid-Roberts (paintings, black out poetry), Todd Stokes (glass etchings), Sheila K. Ter Meer (photography and photography-based abstraction), and Thomas Wright (photography).

Studio 29 Facebook

Search for Studio 29 on Facebook for more about Jessica Fields and her high end gift shop promoting local artists by displaying their artwork for sale!

For more info, read this Terre Haute Tribune-Star news feature.

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RCAA’s Valerie Funk featured in Arts Illiana’s Spectrum magazine

Arts Illiana Spectrum 43

Congratulations to River City Art Association member Valerie Funk of Terre Haute, Indiana.

Her quilt artistry is featured in Spectrum, the quarterly publication by Arts Illiana in Terre Haute.

Here is the cover page, go to Arts Illiana’s website to read the cover story.

 

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Todd Stokes RCAA’s September Artist of the Month at Vigo County Public Library

Sycamore Rising

Glass etchings by Todd Stokes are featured throughout September in River City Art Association’s Artist of the Month gallery space in the Vigo County Public Library at Terre Haute.

The Terre Haute artist’s display is a sampling of his award-winning artwork inspired by trees, the Wabash River, and how the passage of time affects the natural world around him.

“Artists see the world differently. We are all looking at the same world but each one of us has a different filter so our brains register only what our filters allow,” said Stokes, who also works out of his studio in Dennison, Illinois.

“We all might be looking at the same tree and say … it’s a tree. An artist’s eye looks at it and sees the texture of the bark, the proportions of the limbs, the spread of the canopy, the detail of the leaves, the beautiful greens as they change from full on sun to the brilliance of back lit translucence, and the tree’s relationship to other features in the landscape … not just a tree.

“Using these elements — texture, shape, mass, proportion and color — the artist boldly approaches abstraction. He manipulates these elements in certain combinations to create interesting, evocative and visually striking pieces.”

Stokes likes to construct pieces that capture the essence of what happens due to time’s passing: “the erosion of a river’s bank, the budding of  new growth made possible by the decay of the fallen leaves of autumn, and the fading of memories as we travel along the timeline of what we call life.”

Flicker by Todd Stokes in the “Red” show at Arts Illiana Gallery

The “constructive” aspect of  making art, sometimes giving himself technically difficult problems to overcome, are challenges Stokes loves to conquer.

“Some of the most difficult challenges have led me to create the most  fulfilling pieces.”

Also this month, Stokes has glass etchings in the “Red” exhibition  at Arts Illiana Gallery  in Terre Haute; RCAA’s “Art Currents” membership show in the Link Art Gallery in Paris, Illinois; and a show in First Financial Bank’s Springhill Banking Center featuring award-winning artwork from RCAA’s 11th Annual Juried Exhibition in August.

RCAA meets at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the library at Seventh and Poplar streets. For more details, call Stokes at 812-232-0048.

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