On Friday evening, a gallery opening will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Foothills Arts Council showcasing the work of its own Executive Director Leighanne Martin Wright.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Leighanne’s work,” said Rosy Beverly, a member of the gallery committee who selected Wright’s work for the January show.
While Wright’s talents are often seen at the arts council by way of graphic work she does on posters and newsletters promoting the arts, Beverly said she was pleased that this time Wright would really get to be front and center with her own art on display in the gallery.
Wright describes her artwork as fun and folksy. Beverly said Wright noted her art work may not be considered fine art, but it is definitely fun art.
“I thought some of them [were] good enough for the ‘New Yorker’ cartoons,” Beverly said. “I just really think she hit the right tone and it’s amusing and it’s thoughtful. You have to kind of dig it out.”
The exhibit, called MADworks, features more than 20 colorful paintings featuring everything from animals to movie scenes.
The name for the exhibit, Wright said, comes from her younger years when she painted murals on the walls of a record shop in the Atlanta area.
“I called my then business Madman Studios, a reference to “Madman Across the Water” by Elton John, so that is the connection there,” Wright explained. “But I’ve also added that MAD stands for moderately artistic and delightful.
“I was honored and flattered that the gallery committee would ask me to have a show,” Wright said. “For the past several years, most of my painting has been on sets for plays, but a few years ago I took it back up as a hobby and began painting art as fun gifts for friends and family and that grew into doing some commissioned work as well. I am grateful to the owners of these paintings for loaning them back to me for the show.”
The Foothills Arts Council brings in multiple art shows each year, some from local artists and some from other locations.
“I really feel like you do have to support your local art scene in addition to exposing people to things they have never seen,” Beverly said.
As a long-time member of the arts community in Elkin, Beverly said she was especially pleased to see Wright get a turn in the spotlight.
“I think it gives a whole other dimension of Leighanne and her creativity,” Beverly said. “She does the directing and our plays, but you notice she’s the one in the background. I think it’s good for people to see her up front and what she’s capable of doing.”
Wright and Beverly said they hope a good crowd will turn out for the gallery opening which begins at 6 p.m. at the Foothills Arts Council, located at 129 Church St.. Refreshments will be served and Grassy Creek Vineyards will be on hand selling wine.
Elkin Artisan Market will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. and Smalltown Gallery from 4 to 8 p.m. as part of the Downtown Elkin Art Hike.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.