Kudzu Art Zone’s new show, “12 x 12 Extravaganza,” opens this Friday, Sept. 2. The artists were given free rein to choose whatever subject matter and medium of painting they desired--as long as it fit on a 12-inch x 12-inch board.
The artwork will be sold through a silent auction that runs the entire length of the exhibit, ending Oct. 2. “You can get some great art by some fabulous people for not a whole lot of money,” stated Kudzu member Anne Labaire.
Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The opening reception is being held next Friday, Sept. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. As usual, hors d'oeuvres, wine and soft drinks will be served. And you can mix and mingle with the artists and ask them whatever questions the artwork may inspire.
“What’s so much fun about this show is that it’s kind of outside our regular body of work, so you can just do anything,” Labaire explained. “You can play, you can experiment — I did.”
Labaire’s experimenting created “Cloudless,” a picture of a tree that contrasts nicely with a sharp teal background. “I have another one for pure silliness that’s an elephant,” she said.
Carol Luttenberg’s paintings, “Looking Through a Window” and “Butterfly,” also were created through experimentation. Last year, Luttenberg declined to enter the "12 x 12 Extraveganza" because she didn’t think the delicate watercolors she works with would stay put on the masonite board. This year she figured out how to make it work.
“I had to start out with a white layer of acrylic and then I put the watercolor on it,” she said. “And it’s about maybe six, seven or eight layers.”
Another member, Lea Marshall, was inspired by Capri, off the coast of Italy, “since I’ve been there twice and since I speak the language,” she explained.
She painted “Capri” mostly from memory, and recalled a dramatic encounter from her first trip. She was visiting the Blue Grotto, a cave in the Mediterranean Sea. "If the tide is in you can't see the opening but when the tide is out you can," she explained.
Marshall was inside the cave in a boat with her family. They were playing with the water, picking it up with their hands.
"(The gondolier) wasn’t paying any attention and I was because I saw the water get higher when I looked at the opening. There was only (a tiny amount) of air left, the rest was water.”
The gondolier noticed her looking at the opening, “And he got scared. He got outta there so fast,” Marshall said. When she turned back to look at the cave she couldn't see it. It was completely covered by water.
Lucy Brady was also inspired by a place. She painted “Lanterns” because of Monterey Bay, California. “All the houses there were wonderful old Victorian houses, all 100 years old. And they all had these lanterns on the porch and they were so pretty and colorful," she said.
Mixed-media artist Susan Faircloth was inspired by something that can be found a little closer to home—pears. “Well it’s just an interesting subject that’s been painted many, many, many times over the course of history and I thought it would be fun to do collage,” she explained. “Pears are just nice shapes and they make nice shadows.”
For the silent auction, bids start at $60 and go up in $10 increments. Viewers are encouraged to check back often to ensure that they receive their favorite piece of art.
“It’s been very popular, last year’s was very popular,” Faircloth said. “So we’re hoping to make this an annual tradition."