06/20/13 — Exhibit opens tonight at Arts Council of Wayne

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Exhibit opens tonight at Arts Council of Wayne

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on June 20, 2013 1:46 PM

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Beth Hill holds one of her paintings. Mrs. Hill's works will be on display with Mary Ann Barwick's ceramic pieces at the Arts Council of Wayne County.

It's a zoo at the Arts Council of Wayne County.

That's because the new exhibit "Collaboration in Canvas and Clay" is all about animals and nature.

The artists are Beth Hill, 62, and Mary Ann Barwick, 56, two retired Southern Wayne High School art teachers.

The opening reception is tonight from 5 to 7. The exhibit will run through July 26.

It features acrylic paintings by Ms. Hill and pottery with animal and nature themes by Ms. Barwick.

The showpiece consists of two panels of a painting, each measuring 36 by 48 inches. It's a jungle scene with 3D effects.

"I did the painting," Ms. Hill said, "and Mary Ann took the canvases and created a papier mache effect with a frog peering over the right side and butterflies and birds of paradise on the canvas. Then she brought it back to me and I did the finishing painting.

Another unusual part of the exhibit is the alphabet animals. It's a set of 26 animals, some done on a deep canvas with acrylic paints and every third one being a pottery plate with an animal on it. There's a frog, giraffe, alligator, bear, dog, elephant and more.

"The hardest to paint was the vulture because I think of them being so ugly, so I tried to make it as cute as possible with a pretty red face," Ms. Hill said.

Ms. Hill bases her animal paintings on the Bible, Genesis 1:20-25, which talks about creation.

She said when she's painting, she's "just as happy as I can be. I had a playhouse when I was a little girl. And I feel like a little girl again in that playhouse when I'm in my studio painting."

She wants visitors to the exhibit to enjoy looking at the shapes, colors, textures and patterns of the artwork.

"There are too many sad things in the world and if I can do something to make them happy, even for just a moment, I will have accomplished what I wanted to," Ms. Hill said.

The theme of Ms. Barwick's pottery is nature, seashells, mermaids, fish and nature.

Days and hours of Collaboration in Canvas and Clay will be Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m.

For more information, call the Arts Council at 919-736-3300.