Arts center to host Virmarie DePoyster, Lee Scroggins
The South Arkansas Arts Center will host Arkansas artist Virmarie DePoyster as she returns to her childhood home of El Dorado for her second art show at SAAC titled, “Curiosities,” which will hang in the Price and Merkle Galleries from Aug.
2-30. An artists’ reception will be held at
SAAC from 6 until 8 p.m. on Aug. 12, at the arts center, 110 E. Fifth St., El Dorado.
The show will be a bit different from what we have come to expect from DePoyster. As well as her vibrant pastels that are her signature, she will be adding an acrylic on canvas flower series titled “Petal Power,” that she has been working on for the last few months. Also, DePoyster will be bringing an assemblage of “curiosities” that she has been collecting, according to a news release from the arts center.
When asked about the upcoming show, DePoyster said, “For the past 13 years my work has mostly focused on pastel. I love pastel because it’s flexible, expressive and my palette doesn’t dry up like paint.
It also allows me to incorporate spontaneous strokes with color to create movement and energy in the pieces.
“Last year, I began providing therapeutic art classes at a behavioral health facility and was challenged to come up with lessons for teen clients which didn’t require lots of materials… mostly I needed to use everyday items, like paper, tape, glue and scissors. I wanted my clients to experience creating something beautiful, yet fragile to mimic their stressful and complicated experiences. So I started researching and fell in love with paper flowers! Almost a year later, we have created many different types of flowers. The process is calming, transformative, helps build self-esteem and they love it,” she said.
“As I was getting ready for my SAAC solo show and looking at my collection of curiosities – with all their interesting shapes and eye catching color, I noticed that flowers were also all over them. I have painted flowers many times before but now I see them so differently because of my clients. So I created these works to celebrate the beauty and fragility of life and the importance of mental health.
“These works are only about one-third of the show because pastel is still my first love! I hope you enjoy them. This series is called ‘Petal Power,’ they are acrylic on canvas ranging in size from 4 feet by 5 feet to 12-inch by 12-inch,” DePoyster said.
Also, opening the same day in the Lobby Gallery will be a show by Junction City artist Lee Scroggins. Scroggins’ watercolor paintings offer a fresh look at common vistas. After retiring and moving to the country, she began painting with the “Pre-Boomer Bloomers” at SAAC.
“My journey to learn how to watercolor began at SAAC’s open studio about a year after I’d moved to southern Arkansas from Las Vegas, so I could be close to family and live in the country in my retirement years. It’s a journey I’ve been on ever since. To me, the way the paint moves in the water and the various effects that can be achieved are magical. It’s an ongoing exploration. Often, as I paint, I’ll think, ‘I wonder what would happen if… (I did this or that)?’ and then I’ll try it out. My education in art has consisted of the open studio, attending various workshops and classes offered locally, books, videos, the internet, and the generous sharing of tips and expertise by some wonderful local artists,” Scroggins said.
“While living in Nevada, I was an active member of the Nevada Camera Club. Many of my paintings start with going on a treasure hunt with my camera, alert and open to possibilities that present themselves, and making several photos of the same scene or subject from various angles and settings as my vision of a potential painting emerges. Others start with a vision in my head or a quick sketch,” she said.
“At this stage I don’t have a ‘style’ I stick to. I’m having way too much fun playing watercolors and trying out different techniques, processes, paints and color combinations. The possibilities are endless,” Scroggins said.
For more information about either of these exhibits, call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saacarts.org.
Works: A new acrylic on canvas flower series (above) created by Virmarie DePoyster, will be on display at the South Arkansas Arts Center Aug. 2-30. Below, ‘Ye Old Gate Post,’ a work by Lee Scroggins, will be on display at the Arts Center in August.