An overview of Judy Saye-Willis’ exhibit, “From Garden to Gallery: Natures Gentle Colors.”
EVERY ARTIST, whether a sculptor, painter, wordsmith, photographer or anything in between, brings values and background into his/her work.
A section of Dana Hanson’s portrait of Christ, titled “All For You.”
For Faribault artist Dana Hanson, faith clearly inspires her art.
Nature’s influence is seen both in the subject and in the weld (a plant) dye used in this art by Judy.
For Northfield artist Judy Saye-Willis, the natural world seems the most influential.
Dana’s “You Are Loved” faith-based painting.
They are two diverse artists currently exhibiting at the Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault. Dana paints with a brush, oil on canvas. Judy works with fabric and dyes as a fiber artist in this particular From Garden to Gallery—Natures Gentle Colors collection.
In her One Color Series, Judy dyed each piece in a single color dye bath.
Both infuse passion and devotion into their work. Judy uses natural dyes to color fabric. Rhubarb root, black walnut, sumac, goldenrod, prairie wildflowers and more are dye sources for this artist who, like me, grew up on a southwestern Minnesota farm. Judy played in the fields and pastures of the prairie and I can see that in her art. She holds a closeness to the land.
This trio of paintings is titled MESSENGERS OF HOPE with the horses subtitled, from left to right, “Light,” “Passion Fire” and “Grace.”
Dana’s art sometimes comes to her, she says, in visions—her faith-based horse paintings inspired during worship. There is symbolism in her work, threads of light and hope. Her art is her visual ministry, Dana writes on her website.
A close-up of Judy’s panel tagged as “When Life Gives you Lemons make Art.” She used lemon juice for a discharge and dyed in cochineal. The repetition in the art is in the style of Andy Warhol.
I appreciate the artistic talents of both artists. I appreciate also their dedication to the craft. I appreciate the strength of their work.
“His Light” by Dana.
How I interpret their artwork may or may not match their intentions. But that’s the thing about art. We each bring to art our values, our backgrounds, our experiences. When our eyes lock on a piece of art, we react as only we can, with introspection that is uniquely and individually ours.
The Paradise Center for the Arts is housed in an historic former theater in downtown Faribault.
FYI: Dana and Judy’s exhibits will continue through March 27 in the main floor galleries at the Paradise Center for the Arts, 321 Central Avenue, Faribault. These photos are only a sampling of the artwork in their exhibits.
© Text copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Artwork copyrighted by the artists and photographed with permission.