ANDERSON – There’s a movement afoot. There’s a sense of energy. There’s also plenty of talent. See for yourself at the Madison County Visitors and Convention Bureau in Anderson where members of the Pendleton Artists Society are currently exhibiting.
The energy filled the room Wednesday as exhibiting artists took part in the opening reception. Tom Bannon, executive director of the Bureau, welcomed visitors to the show demonstrating the talent of local artists in the newly established PAS. Fourteen members of the society are displaying a breadth of media, interests and styles through Oct. 1. It’s the reflection of a group that is keenly focused on growing the arts community in Pendleton and in Madison County.
“There’s a lot of excitement around it,” said Chris Berry, president of the society. Indeed, the group launched just six months ago, but already claims more than 65 members. “We like to work with each other and learn from each other.”
“We are growing fast,” said LaRisha Farrell, who serves as vice president of the organization. She said the membership is not just from Pendleton, but from all around the area, including Anderson, Lapel and Middletown. The members are artists on a variety of paths. The current exhibit includes metal sculpture, oil painting, fiber art, drawing, photography, basketry and more. “There’s a lot of diversity, it’s great.”
“The enthusiasm is catching,” said Violet Ryan, exhibiting an oil painting titled “Water Mill.” “Everybody is so talented …There is just such a rich amount of work available. The excitement’s really there.”
Teressa Pauley is exhibiting an intricate needlework with more than 140 hours of work in it. She agreed that the group is having an impact. “It’s just so inspiring for me. ... It opens you up.”
Dr. Kenneth Lau serves as the group’s treasurer, and he has donated the space that the group uses for its meetings. The group gets together the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at 136 Water St. in Pendleton. Many members also get together for an active roster of workshops. Various member artists present classes at the gallery space or at artist studios. The society has also drawn in artists from neighboring areas to present, including well-known artists John Reynolds and Marla Helton.