Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Discovering a new artist whose paintings attract your attention and captivate your interest is a great thrill for an art collector. This year’s Southeastern Plein Air Invitational hosts five artists new to the event—Jill Berry (Pensacola, Florida), Millie Gosch (Roswell, Georgia), Becky Joy (Phoenix, Arizona), Ralph Parker (McKinney, Texas) and Beverly Ford Evans (Nashville, Tennessee). Artists by definition are sensitive to their environment whether is it is the dearly loved scenery of their home turf or the new, unfamiliar, and different. Meet the artists who will be experiencing locations around Gadsden for the first time!

Jill Berry paints most often along the Gulf Coast and her favorite subject is the interaction between land, sky, and sea. She values plein air painting for the spontaneity required whether it comes from wrestling with an easel on a windy day or trying to capture the constantly changing light.

Millie Gosch finds inspiration in the lowlands, rural fields, marshes, and waters of coastal Georgia. She explains, “For me art is an expression of my love of nature.” She seeks to capture the serenity of the landscape offering the viewer a glimpse into a special moment and the opportunity for quiet reflection.

Becky Joy feels both calm and euphoric in the outdoors and seeks to relive those moments in her paintings. At each location she finds a connection to nature and translates that into the color, texture, and mood of her landscapes. For her, “painting is like solving a puzzle” where each location challenges her to “put the pieces together into a cohesive whole.”

Ralph Parker wants to stir the viewer’s curiosity about “the quiet drama of everyday life” and invite memories of special places and peaceful scenes. By “combining just the right consistency of paint with the right brushstroke” he brings out the colors that describe a quiet creek bank, an open field, or an old barn.

Beverly Ford Evans combines a love for nature and history with wanderlust. As she explains, “Through traveling I create memories for myself as well as have the pleasure of creating paintings that can evoke memories for others.” While steeped in the beauty of her home state of Tennessee, she loves to pack her paints and get “inspired by the diversity at every turn in the road.”

What will these artists see in the locations around Gadsden? What will they notice that we who live here have overlooked or failed to appreciate? Come join the artists on-location daily and visit the galleries of the Gadsden Museum of Art to see the paintings, still wet, but ready to evoke the memories of a day spent out-of-doors.

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