The 'WOW Factor': Tannery Row artisits to open new exhibits

Special Photo. This abstract by Jim Klippel will be on view during the "WOW Factor" exhibition at Tannery Row from June 18 to mid-July.

Special Photo. This abstract by Jim Klippel will be on view during the "WOW Factor" exhibition at Tannery Row from June 18 to mid-July.

The artists at Tannery Row are hosting five visual arts exhibitions beginning June 18 and continuing through Oct. 8. The first is titled "WOW Factor" and will open with a reception at Tannery Row from 6 to 9 p.m. June 18. Featured artists for the show are Jenny Bishop Heaton, Jim Klippel and Kristen Anderson.

Tannery Row is located at 554 W. Main St. in Buford. It has been a focal point of the Gwinnett art scene since The Tannery Row Artists formally came together in 2003. There are currently 17 artists who inhabit light-filled spaces in this building which dates from 1919, a location full of history and character.

The "WOW Factor" exhibition promises to have variety and visual interest. Acrylic paintings, serigraphs and elegant jewelry will be on view through mid-July.

"Art-making has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember," said Jenny Heaton. "I loved to experiment with art rather than read or study."

Heaton will be displaying a number of serigraphs, or silkscreen prints.

"I love dreaming up and exploring new ones all the time. With serigraphy, I aim for spontaneous, intuitive manipulation of color, paint, line, shape and texture. It's fun to dare and see what happens. In fact, for me it is more than 'fun,' it is a passion," Heaton said.

Artist Kristen Anderson describes her artistic point of view a different way.

"My business grew out of a need to be heard," she said.

A therapist, Anderson developed an overwhelming need to create in order to cope with the heaviness that so often comes with her line of work. While studying overseas, she had the opportunity to visit the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, and was struck by the pieces of paper containing wishes and prayers that visitors had stuck into the wall's many crevices.

"I imagined all the secret wishes that wall held. I created my business, Silver Box Designs, with the desire that my designs would focus on the safe haven, all the deep desires for a better world, contained in a silver box rather than in a wall."

For eight years, Anderson has been connecting with customers to learn how her jewelry fits into their stories.

"I have a jewelry line that encourages self expression and natural beauty. For me, a well-lived life is an authentic life, bringing all of who we are to every day."

James Klippel's youth was spent on and around Chesapeake Bay, Florida waterways, the Georgia coast and the Chattahoochee River. His paintings are primarily abstract and/or impressionistic in nature. Metaphors and symbolism are woven into his work with color and texture.

"Our 'inner song' and the sea are the subjects I most explore in my art," Klippel said. "We are here on earth to learn, teach, and then share our knowledge."

Up next will be an exhibition from July 16 through Aug. 13 featuring artists Jeff Stone, Judy Surowiec and Janet Felts. It will be followed by a third four-week exhibition from Aug. 20 to Sept. 10 titled "Faux to Real." This show will feature Marti Forkner-Vernon, Debra Weiser, and Rosa Jang.

The June 18 reception is open to the public. For more information about "WOW Factor" and the Tannery Row Artists Colony, visit the website at www.tanneryrowartistcolony.com.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.