By Nancy R. Elliott The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin
---- — 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.
Katy Burke took part in a workshop with Reynolds. “I just really, really had fun. ... John Reynolds convinced me I could draw.” Burke lauded the society. “I’m having fun. ... It’s stretching me as an artist, making me hone my skills.” She has an oil painting in the current exhibit, “Autumn Harvest,” which employs warm contrast to showcase sunflowers.
Kitty Meyers, from Lapel, agreed the classes and the society are inspiring her. “I just tried it all – and now I want to be a master of something.”
Judy Renbarger came to Wednesday’s reception to appreciate the work of former students and members of the community. As a dean and counselor with more than 40 years in the Pendleton and Lapel school districts, she sees how people she once knew as teens are now stretching themselves in creative ways.
“It’s just been so much fun to watch the gifts and the talent,” said Renbarger. “This is encouraging me to go back into my creative work, too. … Pendleton needs to become a destination for artists. It’s just a great sense of community.”
Members of PAS are looking forward to their next exhibit coming up in November. The artists have been randomly paired to create collaborative works for the members-only show dubbed “The Blend.”
“It’s going to be a challenge — think outside the box,” said Farrell, who is exhibiting photography in the current show.
Check out the exhibit at the Madison County Visitors and Convention Bureau Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The is located at 6335 S. Scatterfield Road in Anderson. The exhibit is free. Look for the Pendleton Artists Society on Facebook.
Like Nancy Elliott on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @ NancyElliott_HB, or call 640-4805.
If you go: What: Pendleton Artists Society on exhibit Where: Madison County Visitors Bureau, 6335 S. Scatterfield Road, Anderson When: Now through Oct. 1, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weekdays More info: Look for the Pendleton Artists Society on Facebook, or check out the Visitors Bureau website at www.VisitAndersonMadisonCounty.com. The PAS meets on the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at 136 Water St. in Pendleton.