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Creatures Great and Small

(NEWTON, Kan.) – Creating art that depicts nature, wildlife and historical subjects provides the “awe factor” for three established artists whose work will be on display at Carriage Factory Art Gallery beginning Saturday, November 17. Burneta Venosdel, Carolyn Mock and Julie Gowing Hayes will give artist talks during the opening reception that starts at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to all ages.

The three artists have been creating art for many years using different mediums: Venosdel in bronze and pastel, Hayes in oil and watercolor and Mock in oil. Their work can be found in private collections throughout the United States.

“I can never get enough of the beauty I find in nature,” said Hayes, “the sunlight drifting through leaves that highlights some small flower that otherwise may have gone unnoticed, the harmony of a subtle color palette that blends into a beautiful composition, all accompanied by birdsong and fresh air. Painting for me is an emotional response to my surroundings and an attempt to capture a fleeting moment in time to share with others.”

Hayes said that growing up on a farm in southwest Iowa was instrumental in her development of a deep-rooted love for the outdoors. Her father’s involvement in conservation efforts through tree planting, watershed developments and improved farming techniques along with her mother’s love of gardening and bird watching taught her a respect for the land and the wildlife it supports.

Oklahoman Carolyn Mock continues to win awards and gain recognition for her wildlife paintings in oil. “I’m influenced by both old and contemporary masters,” she said. “I paint what interests me, and that’s the natural world. It makes no difference whether it’s God’s creatures or a sunset or cowboys doing their jobs.”

As an award-winning bronze sculptor, Burneta Venosdel feels a strong obligation to record history, she said. “Being raised on a farm in northwest Oklahoma has driven my subject matter to include historical subjects and the animals that I grew up loving.” Her experiences have helped her create dynamic, strong, western-influenced, detail-rich modern pieces. Venosdel, the great granddaughter of northwestern Oklahoma pioneers, is vice president of the Women Artists of the West.

The three artists featured in “Creatures Great and Small” will speak about themselves and their artwork at 7:30 p.m. during the show’s opening reception November 17. Live music will be performed by Bob Wambold on piano and Rob Little on bass. Refreshments will be served.

The nonprofit Carriage Factory Art Gallery, celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, is housed in a former carriage factory founded in 1883. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Support for the organization comes primarily through memberships, donations, art sales, facility rental and fundraisers.

In addition to featured exhibits that highlight the work of local and regional artists, the gallery includes a consignment gallery for artists, a gift shop and collections of paintings by Albert H. Krehbiel and Vernon Rickman.
The gallery provides workshops in various art media throughout the year and offers space for rent for special events and meetings. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call 316-284-2749.

Carriage Factory Art Gallery will feature works in bronze, oil, and pastel of Artists Carolyn Mock (far left), Burneta Venosdel and Julie Gowing Hayes (far right). Mary Lee McDonald, center, is curator for the exhibit, “Creatures Great and Small,” opening Saturday, November 17, 7 p.m.

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