‘Reflections’ exhibit showcases local talent

Published 6:05 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018



At first glance, the pieces in the exhibit in the upstairs gallery at the Community Arts Center may not appear to have much in common. But closer inspection reveals a common theme that ties together a painting of a pirate, a dazzling mosaic mirror, a quilt with upside down swans, and a photograph of a harbor scene. These pieces — and more — all respond to the concept referenced in the title of the exhibit: Reflections.

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The Reflections exhibit features artwork by twenty regional artists, all members of The Gathering Artists, Danville’s longest-standing artist society. Each year, the members of The Gathering Artists organize a collaborative exhibit, with each artist providing a unique interpretation of the shared theme. Past exhibit themes have included “Homage to Barns,” “Water,” and “Limited Palette” in which the artists restricted themselves to three colors in their artwork.

Donna Elam, one of the coordinators of the group, says “when the collaborative idea first came about years ago it was meant to encourage the artists to work together in the creation of a piece, helping them to get to know one another better. Each year, we brainstorm for ideas, then narrow the list down by vote.”

Photo contributed
Moonglow by Pat Williams

Quilter Charlotta Bright Norby took a playful approach to the theme of reflections, inspired by the fact that many fabrics are produced in multiple colors of the same pattern or image. She acknowledges that “while they aren’t exactly mirror images of each other, I could kind of play them off against each other as if they reflected each other.”

Pat Williams of Richmond included a watercolor painting titled “Moonglow“ in the show. The subject of the piece is a pond in northern Michigan, where she attended college. She remembers that “my future husband and I went fishing at that pond. After an afternoon of catching no fish, we packed up and then just watched the sunset from his car. It was so peaceful, and one of the moments in my life that I think about whenever I feel stressed or upset. I’ve always wanted to paint that memory.” Williams experimented with a new type of ink for her painting, including a metallic ink that added a gold shimmer to the sky.

Williams joined The Gathering Artists in the spring and says she treasures the fellowship she shares with other artists at the meetings. “Art can be a lonely occupation. I get inspired when I see projects other artists are working on; I feel encouraged when artists I respect praise my work; and I grow as an artist when I receive constructive criticism and helpful tips to improve.”

Arts Center Creative Director Brandon Long echoes this sentiment, saying “One of the things I enjoy about the Gathering Artists’ collaborative exhibits is the ‘competitive camaraderie.’ Being surrounded by great artists propels you to do great things.”

While many artists in the exhibit depicted landscape reflections in their work, others chose human subjects. Artist Sarah Wiltsee of Danville describes the way her portrait –“Reflections of Yesterday” – embodied the theme of the exhibit. “When thinking of our reflection theme, this recent painting came to mind to include in this show. I always allow a face to take shape as I apply different facial features – this one reminded me of a women in the 60’s! The style of her hair and fitted bodice, then the skirt flares. The white that surrounds her could be layers of material like a curtain that, peeled back layer by layer, reveals memories that she seems to be considering or reflecting on events from the past.”

Photo contributed
Purple Mirror by Marie Taylor

Several artists included mirrors or other reflective surfaces in their pieces. Marie Taylor of Danville has been creating stained glass mosaics for seventeen years and describes it as a “passion.” She immediately settled on a mosaic mirror for her contribution to the collaborative exhibit, using a specially-made type of purple stained glass. Taylor explains that mosaic glass is cut into small pieces and then glued in place once the design is determined.

Although she has participated in The Gathering Artists since 2016, the Reflections exhibit is Taylor’s first display at the Community Arts Center. She says, “I was very nervous to have my art in an exhibit viewed by hundreds of people, but once I saw it on the wall, I am very proud to have it there!” 



On exhibit through November 4th in the Second Floor Gallery

$5 suggested donation

Tuesday through Friday, 11am to 7pm

Saturdays, 10am to 5pm

Also on exhibit – Horizon: Contemporary Landscape, a national juried exhibit on display in the Grand Hall and upstairs hallway.



Soulshine Painting – Intuitive Leaves

Thursday, September 27

7pm to 9pm | $25

All ages welcome

Clay Workshop – Leaf Bowls

Mondays, October 1 and 15

5:00pm to 6:30pm | $35

Ages 7+ (adults welcome!)

Kids Visual Arts

Wednesdays, October 3 to 31

4pm to 5pm | $40

Grades PreK4 to 3rd

Photo contributed
Reflections of Yesterday by Sarah Wiltsee

How to Draw People

Thursdays, October 4 to November 1

4pm to 5pm | $40 | Grades 4-8

Clay Workshop – Pumpkins

Thursdays, October 4 and 18

5pm to 6:30pm | $35

Ages 7+ (adults welcome!)

Fall Break Camp

October 8 – 12 | 9am to 2pm

$150 per camper

Kindergarten – 5th Grade

Wheel-Thrown Pottery

Tuesdays, October 16 to December 4

7pm to 9pm | $160

Ages 14+