ON EXHIBIT – Stepping into the main gallery at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, one can feel their stress levels drop.
Peaceful landscape paintings dot the walls in an exhibit that’s neither packed nor sparse, with two low leather chairs at the center of the gallery. The pieces are all by Takeyce Walter, a Round Lake artist whose works may be familiar to many in the Capital Region. Rightly so, she has an eye for capturing the transient nature of sunlight or ripples on lakes and ponds. Walter takes an en plein air approach to her work, rendering not only the landscape but also the atmosphere in a contemporary impressionist style.
The exhibit, which is fittingly called “A Breath of Fresh Air,” features a mix of oil, gouache and pastel works, many of which are untitled. In one of the larger pieces, light peeks over a distant treeline, the sky reflected in the calm surface of a greenery-lined river. Depicted with loose brush strokes, the trees reflected in the river seem to ripple with the water.
Further along, viewers are taken to the mountains. In a panoramic scene, green and blue mountains reach up toward a brightening sky, their expansive shape reflected in a glassy lake below. To the left is a dark, brooding line of the forest, which melds into the form of the mountain range.
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Throughout the exhibit are landscapes depicted at the opening and closing of a day, when sun or moonlight makes the landscape glow. In one smaller pastel work, this one titled “Day 19,” a midnight blue sky is closing in on a sinking sun, the fading line of light reflected in a deep blue lake below. In another, called “Day 12,” moonlight radiates through the spindly branches of leafless trees.
The titles are a reference to Creative February, a challenge that Walter began as a personal project in 2014. Looking to carve out time to paint between work and family and to reinvigorate her love of the art form, Walter and fellow artist Kate Edwards challenged themselves to make art every day in February.
She’s continued the annual tradition since then and each February posts daily about the challenge on social media. Walter has also used the challenge to fundraise for non-profit organizations.
Over the years, Creative February has gained traction and interest from many other artists around the country, and some have taken up the challenge for themselves.
A group show featuring some of their works is running in the Arts Center’s Wallace & Foyer Galleries in conjunction with “A Breath of Fresh Air.” Called “Creative Collective,” it includes works by local artists who participated in Creative February last year. Artists featured include Edwards, Deborah Bayly, Loretta A. Fontaine-Castagna, Wendy Allen, Penny Lee Deere, Terry Teitelbaum, Kathy Klompas, Pamela G. Stendardi and Rebecca Zeh.
Both exhibits are up through Nov. 26. Do your lungs, mind and eyes a favor and head to the Arts Center to see them both. The Arts Center gallery hours are Mondays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesdays – Thursdays 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information visit artscenteronline.org/exhibits/takeyce-walter.
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