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‘Bellezza’ exhibit features array of artistic talents

POSTED: April 25, 2012 4:00 a.m.
By Chelsea Thomas Dawson Community News/

Jeanne Tompkins, Dawson County Arts Council president, adjusts a hanging painting by a member of the Sawnee Artists Association last Thursday.

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For the 11th year, Bowen Center for the Arts is featuring an assortment of works by the Sawnee Artists Association.

The Forsyth County-based association presents its member's artwork of various mediums, including woodwork, painting and photography, through Saturday.

It's an event for art lovers and newcomers alike, according to Jeanne Tompkins, Dawson County Arts Council president.

"The diversity and variety of artwork is awesome," she said."It's just a very unusual show and there is something for everyone. There is something that will speak to you."

Bowen's two main showcase rooms are covered in nature scenes and landscape paintings. But there are also works that wander from the path.

One of Tompkins' favorite works in the show is an acrylic painting titled "Seaside" by Carol Baumrucker.

She believes the Caribbean-inspired work is the most representative of the name "bellezza" because "it seems to be a place to enjoy," she said.

"‘Bellezza' means beauty, and to me, fun and gaiety," she said.

Baumrucker's painting features a sky view of a beachside town and uses bright splotches of color, such as baby blue, lilac, red and pale yellow.

Other paintings and submitted artwork feature western or rural themes. Countryside imagery persisted throughout numerous artists' photography and paintings, including cowboy boots, horses and fence posts.

Fields, barns, buffalo, farm houses and snarly tree branches were also common.

Artist Rick Rennick had three oil paintings, one on Hawaiian birds reaching more than 4 feet in height. Rennick previously did film set design and now teaches art, according to Tompkins.

Also, there are many works capitalizing on the artist's personal travels. Artist Bonnie McClure painted scenes in Paris and Venice, while photographer Lisa Starling focused closer to home in Savannah.

One of the arts councils' duties is to sell and collect funds through the show. Thirty percent of all proceeds go to the Bowen Center.

Many pieces sold at the artist's reception April 21, according to Tompkins.

"We did have quite a few sales, which typically we don't. We are very pleased about that," she said.

Bowen Center for the Arts is located in The Old Rock School building at 334 Hwy. 9 North in Dawsonville.

For more information, call (706) 216-2787.

The center is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m.-4p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.


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