National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society
The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society’s 28th annual Best of America exhibition kicks off September 13 at Eisele Gallery of Fine Art in Cincinnati with an assortment of subject matter and styles to suit the needs of collectors. The show, which features 130 works and will be judged by artist Adam Clague, will present a reception on September 14 from 5 to 8 p.m., giving collectors the first chance to view the show and meet participating artists.
Among those with works in this year’s exhibition are Joe Anna Arnett, Mitch Caster, Kathleen Cencula, Kathleen Denis, Lee Alban and Cynthia Feustel.
Alban will present Earth and Myself are of One Mind, a work from his series depicting Western landscapes merged with photographs from the past that look as if they’re from the same locations. “In my paintings I strive to pay homage to the Native Americans who occupied lands before the western expansion of the U.S.,” says Alban. “I traveled throughout the West to find landscapes to paint, and I located vintage photographs of Native Americans to superimpose as Trompe l’Oeil paintings over the landscapes. In this way I symbolically return the spirits of the people to their native lands. As an additional tribute, I researched Native American sayings and used them as titles for the paintings.”
Another outdoor view is Denis’ painting Warmth of the Sun. “My inspiration for this scene came as I turned the corner of a narrow Key West street and noticed the intense light falling upon this charming old cottage, creating vibrant colors and interesting shadows,” Denis explains. “When looking for a scene I often think about what evokes thoughts of ‘imagine being there’ and this scene typifies that description.”
Caster blends the outdoors with the figural in Amaizing Day, which was inspired by a scene he photographed while at a friend’s northeastern Colorado farm and vineyard. “Before leaving, I photographed my musician friend Elle in the corn. It was amazing how her light skin and blue dress looked against the green cornstalks and matching blue sky,” he shares. “I was excited to get back to the studio and paint this scene.
She just seemed the perfect arrangement of color and gesture. She was like an all American girl from the heartland. It was the last time I saw Elle before she moved away to Georgia.”
Decades ago, Arnett started her garden by digging out rocks and clay and bringing in dirt one wheelbarrow at a time. It now has 40 antique rose bushes, and she often enjoys her morning coffee there. “That’s how Breakfast with Roses began,” she says of her juried still life. “The day was too beautiful to work inside, so I set up the arrangement outside in the garden. The roses were completed the first morning. The rest followed over a few days. The harmony was nature-made. I just followed working to keep the joy in the painting throughout.”
Best of America will hang through October 14.
1Kathleen Denis, Warmthof the Sun, oil, 14 x 11"2Mitch Caster, AmaizingDay, oil, 30 x 20"3Lee Alban, Earth and Myself are of One Mind,oil, 24 x 30"4Joe Anna Arnett,Breakfast with Roses,oil, 24 x 30"