‘Out of Africa, Paintings on Safari’ features local artists
GRASONVILLE — On May 5, an exhibit will open at A.M. Gravely Gallery in St. Michaels, one of the newest galleries on the Eastern Shore. “Out of Africa, Paintings from Safari” will showcase more than 25 paintings by two local artists, Joan Hart of Prospect Bay and Georgette Toews of Grasonville, based on their separate travels to various countries within the continent of Africa. Both of these artists had very busy careers before retirement. Yet both say they found new purpose and unexpected pleasure through travel and art in their lives.
Hart is a Washington native who moved to the Eastern Shore eight years ago upon retiring from her psychotherapy practice. She also is an artist who has shown her work in the Washington area, Annapolis and the Eastern Shore. She said retirement has allowed her more time to pursue her art and her love of travel. “Out of Africa, Paintings from Safari” combines both loves in a very special way.
Hart said she had always been drawn to animals and longed to see the magnificent wildlife of Africa in their native habitat. The trip to Tanzania in 2014 fulfilled and surpassed this lifelong dream.
With camera and husband in tow, she was able to see the animals of the Serengeti as they interacted with each other in their “hauntingly beautiful land.” She said she was touched by the beauty, warmth and dignity of the African people she met.
As many others have expressed, “visiting Africa is like coming home. It is an experience not to be missed if at all possible,” Hart said.
Toews is a New York native and Air Force personnel officer who ser ved more than 30 years, retiring out of the Pentagon in 2000. Following retirement, she began traveling the world, biking and hiking Ireland, Portugal, New Zealand and other exotic locales.
After moving to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 2001, she also discovered a totally new world of art when introduced to the local art league, Kent Island Federation of Arts. Inspired by the beauty of the local area, she began painting in watercolor, acrylics, pastels and oil.
She has shown and sold her work in Annapolis and throughout the Eastern Shore and is a currently a regular member of Grafton Galleries in Easton. In September 2015 she ventured to Cape Town, South Africa, and went on Safari to Zimbabwe, Botswana an Namibia. The beauty of Africa and the magnificence of the animals were so inspiring she began painting immediately upon returning.
“From the elephants to the zebras, antelope to lions, leopards and incredible bird life there is so much to see, not to mention the magnificent sunsets,” she said.
If you have been to Africa, are thinking of going or just want to see parts of the continent through the eyes of two travelers, come out to the “Out of Africa” show, the artists urge.
Be prepared to see the animals, landscapes and peoples of Africa through the eyes of these two painters.
“Many of the animals pictured are endangered by loss of habitat, ivory poaching and hunting. To see the wild animals and habitat in balance is a profound lesson to us of what we have lost in our modern lives and need to find in some way again. In another generation or two, many of the magnificent animals of Africa may be extinct in the wild,” Toews said.
Literature will be available at the show from the Wildlife Conser vation Network, one of the best organizations working toward saving habitat for our animal partners, she added.
In addition to paintings, Hart and Toews have decorated fabric wrapped African animals that will be for sale. A workshop providing the chance to wrap and decorate your own animal will be held on Saturday, May 20, at the A.M. Gravely Gallery. The workshop will be conducted by Candace Liccione of Wye River Designs of Grasonville and is suitable for both adults and children.
The show opens Friday, May 5, and runs through Sunday, May 28. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
A reception to meet the artists will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 13.
For more information, call 410-745-5059.
“Mates,” oil, by Georgette Toews
This photo shows the Queen Anne’s County all-star baseball team in 1924. It was on an antique postcard provided to the Queen Anne’s Museum of Eastern Shore Life by Dan Tabler, columnist and former editor of the
Georgette Toews, artist