Art Beat: Southeastern Pastel Society holds annual show

The 2009 Southeastern Pastel Society Member's Juried Exhibition is being held in Athens, but our Gwinnett artists are representing our county very well. Seven of the exhibition's artists are Gwinnett's own.

The exhibition will be on view for the public through Aug. 15 at the Lyndon House Art Center at 293 Hoyt St. in Athens.

For this exhibition, 79 artists submitted 226 works of art. Fifty-three were accepted, with a total of 65 paintings to be shown. Of the 53 artists, the seven from Gwinnett are Dolly Alexander, Sallie Burns Atkins, Nedra Bailey, Donna Biggee, Mikki Root Dillon, Cyndi Marble and Sharon Margolies.

The Southeastern Pastel Society was established in 1987 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting pastel artwork as a medium in the Southeastern United States. The society has now grown to more than 250 members primarily from the Southeast but also from other states and countries.

The Juror for this show was Greg Biolchini, a master pastelist of the Pastel Society of America.

Marble, one of the Gwinnett participants, is vice president of the Southeastern Pastel Society. Gwinnettian Dillon is secretary and assistant editor of the society's newsletter, "Dustbuster."

The seven Gwinnett artists hail from all over the county. Alexander lives in Flowery Branch. Burns Atkins and Dillon reside in Lilburn. Bailey and Biggee are from Snellville. Marble has a home in Lawrenceville, as does Margolies.

Burns Atkins, Alexander, Bailey, Biggee and Marble are also members of Southern Colours, a collection of artists that meets every week and also participates in other exhibitions. Burns Atkins is the founder of this group and has been the president of the Southeastern Pastel Society. Marble's face might also be familiar to Snellville artists - she owned a frame shop in Snellville until she decided to become a full time artist.

The works the Gwinnett members contributed to the show reflect much diversity of style and subject matter.

"Dolly does fabulous skies, but the work chosen by the juror is a landscape featuring a pond," Dillon said. "Sallie's chosen painting is a still life. Nedra's painting is 'Backstage at the Opry,' meaning the Grand ole Opry."

Dillon continued, "Donna's picture is a still life table setting with fruit. Cyndi has two paintings in the show. One is of some gorgeous red sumac she saw growing on a roadside. The other one is from a man playing a guitar in a bluegrass band. Sharon's painting is a dramatic night scene with a lamp casting shadows of trees towards the viewer."

Dillon's own painting was done at Folly Beach, S.C., where she has visited every year since 1988. Her painting is a plein air depiction of a tidal creek near Charleston.

For more information on the Southeastern Pastel Society's show and for admission information, visit the Web site at www.southeasternpastel.org or call the Lyndon House Art Center at 706-613-3623.