by June Pichel Cook
GREENSBORO – The Greensboro United Church of Christ Art Festival opened for viewing on Monday in front of the church and will be on view until September 12. The invitation to make art was open to all ages and talents and using anything that was on hand – oils, acrylics, watercolor, crayon, pen, ink, cloth embroidery, collage, charcoal – anything that would adhere to a canvas.
Coordinator Rosann Hickey said about 30 canvases were hung and reflected a wide variety of perspectives and interpretations of “art as love and love as art.”
“We have to be apart during COVID-19 and this brings us together,” she said. “It went really well. The youngest artist was six, and the oldest, 100.”
Nine-year-old Emmett Gordon’s work, “Community,” was a reflective work with a world globe and white and black clasped hands.
One of the most poignant works is Nancy Hill’s rendition of Golden Glows and photograph of her parent’s wedding. She wrote that her parents were married August 27, 1934, and their wedding flower, “Golden Glows,” shed a light on their long and loving marriage.
Marion Babbie, an artist who stopped painting in her fifties, submitted a landscape, noting she wanted to see if she were still able to paint. Her work left no doubt as to her “still being able to paint.” Issa Oechry’s double images, “VT Strong and VT Hope,” depicted masked Jersey Cows, one standing in the dark shadows and the other, standing in the bright orange sunlight.
Penny Bretschneider’s “Loving Long Ears” spoke of the animal/human loving interrelationships as reflected in her donkeys. She noted how they especially love children. Mary Young’s flowers were noted as flowers being the living gift which asks nothing and is content in its shape and color, its buds opening into blooms with grace. B.J. Gray used a fox family to depict her interpretations of art, community, and connectivity.
One of the most unusual was Zoryan Ivahiv-Gray’s rendition of the MesoAmerican concept of Teotl (a complex idea of the universe in its three forms). Elaine Guare chose “Haiku of the Seasons,” combining both poetry and painting, to express creating art, celebrating life, and sharing love, which was the theme of the festival.
Rev. Edward Sunday-Winters said the show was a response to the locking down from COVID-19 when everything has been curtailed. The show is a way of connecting safely.