Twice as big: Art show returns for second year

With nine grandchildren living throughout the country, Judith Surowiec flies often to visit them.

"I always get a window seat" the Buford artist said, "and I draw the entire way."

Surowiec's acrylic painting "Big Sky," inspired by the view from an airplane, is a fitting piece for Tannery Row Artist Colony's latest art exhibit, "BIG 2," a follow-up from the October 2007 show, "BIG."

Showcasing 36- by 48-inch vertically hung paintings and a 7-foot tall metal piece, as well as jewelry, various pieces of pottery and sculptures, Surowiec said guests who visit the Tannery can expect an unusual show.

"I have been to many art shows but never one in which all the paintings are vertical and the same size," said Surowiec, who produced two paintings for the show. "Each artist has taken the requirements for a ride. It is fun to be pushed into something uncomfortable and then work your way out."

"BIG 2" is Tonya Haswell's first show as a resident artist at Tannery Row. Using dyed fabrics, scraps of vintage fabrics and paint, the Lawrenceville resident has created three mixed media pieces for the show.

One piece, titled "Promise," features a stylized representation of an oak tree that grows off Ga. Highway 124 and Sugarloaf Parkway, a visual element Haswell has used in previous pieces.

"There's a meadow there and there's this beautiful oak tree that in the winter is absolutely stunning," she said. "There was a moment when I drove by and I just thought, 'That' is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.'"

Two small, green leaves hang on one of the branches of the otherwise leafless tree representing the eventual transition into the following season.

"I loved the idea that a lot of work is done in the winter," Haswell said, "but there is a promise of spring."

Gwinnett residents will have the opportunity to meet Haswell, Surowiec and other resident artists at Tannery Row who are participating in the show, tour their personal studios and discuss their work during the opening reception for "BIG 2" from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday. The exhibit will be on display at the Buford artists' retreat through Dec. 1.

SideBar: If you go

· What: "BIG 2"

· When: Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday through Dec. 1

· Where: Tannery Row Artist Colony, 554 W. Main St. in Buford

· Cost: Free

· For more information: Visit www.tanneryrowartistcolony.com