The Creative Arts Guild proudly announces the opening of the newest exhibits of art in Galleries One11 and Five20 on Saturday, May 8, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 520 W. Waugh St.

There will be opportunities for viewing and purchasing art works by Libby Newell, Ann Nichols and Amy Reader. The exhibits are now available for viewing and will remain up through May. The event is free and open to the public; a variety of beverages will be available and local restaurant Sol de Mayo will sell delicious tacos.

Nichols is a contemporary realist painter from Chattanooga who works in the medium of oil on panel. An artist since 1980, she has explored various subject matter in series — finally settling on realistic still lifes in 1994. Her exhibit on display in Gallery One11 is titled “Little Jewels."

“After working on a rather large scale for about 20 years, I wanted to do a series of miniature paintings that resembled ‘little jewels,'" Nichols said. "I feel that the brilliant colors and iridescent jewel tones of hummingbirds convey my intention.”

For this exhibit at the Creative Arts Guild, she has divided the picture plane into two unequal sections and paired still life objects (eggs, nests, fruit) with hummingbirds in a landscape setting. She has also included small “portraits” of individual hummingbirds to illustrate the variety of coloration and markings of different species.

Newell and Reader have a combined exhibit titled “Stillness on the Move” in Gallery Five20. In discussing her pieces, Newell makes reference to what she calls “Meditative practice during a time of intense output of motherly care."

“This practice of painting began during the time that I was deep in the trenches of parenting small children," Newell added. "I needed a way to rest my mind. A small corner of the freezing cold garage was my refuge. I played with the materials that I had on hand. The goal was not high art so much as peace of mind. A meditation in color. Sometimes thinking of maps, coral or petri dishes, dark Dutch still life paintings or the deepest trench in the ocean. No matter the influence, I affectionately refer to them all as 'blobs.' And 'blobs' are always there to listen. They never chew up your slippers and always encourage you to dance like no one is watching.”

Reader’s fabric art “focuses on bold, joyful colors, thoughtful detail, and layers of texture. I create embroideries, standing wool tapestries and fiber art jewelry. Many of the colors used in my pieces are hand-dyed in my studio. My work pulls inspiration from bright colors and textures found in flowers, coral reefs and the forest floor. Using sewing to create art opens up a world of possibilities. Stitches are a language all their own. They can be long, loping and graceful. They can be short, feisty and punctuate a piece with color. They can be entirely utilitarian or solely decorative. Through sewing, I create works that beg the viewer to come closer and immerse themselves in the details. The majority of the stitches in my work are intentionally left visible. Similar to how tree rings create a record of its growth, each stitch records the moments spent working on one piece."

For information about the exhibit, contact gallery director Savannah Thomas at savannaht@creativeartsguild.org or (706) 279-3129.

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