Pet passion

Juried art exhibit to open
to all artists at Gallery 104

Multi-media show ‘Animal Attraction’
on display at studio

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(March 2010) – La Grange, Ky., artist Cheri Grinnell considers her creative talent an integral part of who she really is. When not creating a piece of artwork, she feels stifled and a little frustrated – setbacks that art can quickly cure.

Cheri Grinnell art

Photo provided

Cheri Grinnell
created this fish
themed piece as a
result of her husband’s
love of the sea.

As a versatile artist, Grinnell has worked in various mediums over the years, including graphite, charcoal, folded paper, ink and acrylic. “I first got my hands into clay 10 years ago and fell in love with the medium,” she said. “I like the freedom of hand building as opposed to wheel and, with clay, I can use my color sense, drawing and design abilities all in one medium.”
Grinnell, 50, has always been creative and said she has “been drawing for as long as I can remember.” Originally from Southern California, Grinnell moved to Oldham County 41/2 years ago.
She will be one of many local artists featured in “Animal Attraction,” a juried art exhibit sponsored by the Arts Association of Oldham County. The exhibit will be on display from March 23 to May 14 at Gallery 104, located on Main Street in La Grange. A private awards reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 1, for association members, exhibiting artists, show sponsors and their guests.
Open to all artists, this multi-media show will feature pets and favorite animal companions. Prizes of $300, $200 and $100 will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place winners. A People’s Choice award will be voted on by the public.
“Whether it involves a pet or creatures we are simply attracted to, animals play a special role in our lives,” said Terri Miller, co-chair of “Animal Attraction.” The exhibit’s juror and judge, J. Barry Motes, will select all artwork for this exhibit. Motes is an art professor and head of the Fine Arts Department at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville.
As a result of such a show, Miller said she appreciates having new and returning visitors to Gallery 104. “I hope that visitors will continue to discover and appreciate the talent of our regional artists and the variety of events and art on exhibit at the Gallery. Animal lovers in particular will enjoy the show.”
In conjunction with the exhibit, a special donation will be made from the arts association to the Oldham County Humane Society’s Spay-Neuter Clinic in memory of Pat Crotty, former board member and volunteer.
“While the Arts Association is a non-profit organization itself, we wanted to provide some awareness and support for the Humane Society of Oldham County,” said Miller.
Kathy Dowling, Executive Director of the arts association and Gallery 104, was acquainted with Crotty from the former Oldham County chapter of Business and Professional Women. “She was a dedicated and active member who was always the first on the scene to help with our annual Fall Ball fundraiser.”
Like Crotty, Grinnell is intensely interested in the arts. “I have always enjoyed art,” she said.
Grinnell, who is also the association’s featured artist for the month of March, minored in Art at the University of Colorado. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Louisville. She frequently attends workshops to keep her artwork and techniques vibrant and fresh.
“I also write poetry,” said Grinnell, who is currently working on assembling a book of poems written for her 9-year-old daughter, Maddie. Maddie is also an artist, and Grinnell has encouraged her to use art as an outlet.
When Grinnell’s husband died of cancer in July 2009, “Art helped me deal with my feelings of anger and helplessness.” Art has been “a source of comfort, a way to channel my grief in a positive way.”
Grinnell draws on an experience from junior high school to explain her relationship with art. She had a home economics teacher that would ring a bell when the class got too loud or out of control. The class would often put gum in the bell so the teacher couldn’t ring it.
“It frustrated her to no end,” said Grinnell about her teacher. “Without my art, I feel as though there is gum in my bell. I am a very intense person, emotionally, and art is where I can constructively release those feelings.”
She is currently building up her inventory so that she can participate in more shows. “Juried shows interest me as it is a good way to get the opinions of your peers as well as challenge yourself to do things you might not do otherwise,” Grinnell said.

• For more information on “Animal Attraction,” contact the Arts Association of Oldham County or Gallery 104 at (502) 222-3822 or visit: www.aaooc.org.

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