By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON – Take two artists from different disciplines, put them together and see what kind of art happens. That’s the simple and exciting premise of the new Pendleton Artists Society show, The Blend. The exhibit is open Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a reception with the artists from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Fall Creek Gallery in Pendleton.
"It should be a pretty interesting variety," said LaRisha Farrell, vice president of PAS.
About 24 brave souls among the membership of the more than 80-strong PAS drew names randomly a couple of months ago to pair up and collaborate on art that both challenged and combined their talents and visions. The exercise drew the artists together, and helped them to bond and to explore new artistic territory.
“It’s building relationships,” said photographer LaRisha Farrell. "It's been fun."
Oil painter Katy Burke was initially reluctant to participate, but threw her hat in the ring at the last moment. She's glad she did.
As the names were drawn and artists were paired up, the possibilities grew.
“Kind of immediately you could see the wheels turning,” said Burke.
Burke and Farrell were paired up through the project. The two knew each other only as casual acquaintances through PAS. After meeting and collaborating on their projects at least once a week, however, the artists are now comfortable friends who have a better understanding of each other’s work.
“First, we determined what our skill sets were,” said Burke. From there, the artwork blossomed. Farrell was exploring photo transfers at the time, and that was incorporated into the project. They both even branched out into new territory, making their own paper for the projects they envisioned.
“We had a lot of trial and error,” said Farrell.
Last week, the two artists had five works on the table, some still in progress. They were sorting out how they wanted to mount them, and which ones to select for the exhibit.
“Each one’s a little bit different process,” noted Farrell as she and Burke studied the works. It takes a close inspection to determine where the photography ends and the painting begins.
Burke and Farrell are excited to see the results of the others artists’ collaborative efforts in The Blend exhibit.
“I have heard there are some pretty massive pieces,” said Farrell. One three-member team includes a painter/graphic designer and two metal workers. “I believe they created a 10-foot structure. It’s an installation. That’ll be kind of neat.”
They also know of a fabric artist who is teamed up with a 93-year old poet. “She’s incorporating poetry into a fabric piece,” said Farrell.
The Blend exhibit is just the latest adventure for the society's dynamic group of artists.
“It’s growing,” said Farrell. “It’s exciting. There’s always stuff going on.”
PAS has already offered a number of workshops and classes. Students of those sessions will exhibit their works Dec. 7 at the PAS Gallery. That show comes after a two-week exhibit in Noblesville, where the Platinum Living Gallery hosts a PAS exhibit beginning Nov. 16. Members are also exhibiting at the Pendleton Community Public Library.
On December 14, PAS hosts an ornament-making class implementing the art of quilling. Class fee is $35 for adults, first accompanying child is free, and a second child can join in for an additional fee. Kids must be 10 years or older to manage the level of complexity of the project.
In the new year, PAS has a number of programs scheduled, among them plein air, portrait painting with John Reynolds and even digital pinhole photography.
For more information about Saturday’s show, any of the upcoming events or membership in the Pendleton Artists Society, check out the society’s Facebook page or call (765) 325-7327.
Like Nancy Elliott on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @NancyElliott_HB, or call 640-4805.
If you goWhat: The Blend Art Exhibit by members of the Pendleton Artists Society Where: PAS Fall Creek Gallery, 136 E. Water (corner of Water and Main), Pendleton When: Saturday, Nov. 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. More info: $5 donation is requested, but not required.