ART BEAT: Colored pencils are the chosen medium for St. Edwards' gallery exhibition

The gallery at St. Edwards' Episcopal Church has seen many beautiful exhibitions. Currently on display is a collection of visual art that is created with colored pencils, a medium that offers extreme detail and vivid imagery. The 24 drawings by six artists, titled "A Colored Pencil Odyssey," will be on display through Nov. 25.

St. Edwards' Episcopal Church is located in Lawrenceville at 737 Moon Road. The exhibition is free to the public. Hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. through 12 p.m. The gallery is not open on Saturdays.

"A Colored Pencil Odyssey" artists are all members of the Colored Pencil Society of Atlanta. This organization usually presents two shows per year locally and participates in the national Colored Pencil Society of America's annual exhibition which was in Dallas this year. In 2009, the national organization held its annual exhibition at Gwinnett's own Hudgens Center for the Arts.

Artists showing work for "Odyssey" are Debra Yaun and Kevin Yaun, Carol Sorensen, Joan Geldblat, Catherine Henry and Nancy Guerine. The exhibition was curated by Mikki Dillon.

Heading up this organization locally is Debra Yaun of Buford, whose son Kevin makes the exhibition something of a family affair.

"Kevin started drawing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when he was just a toddler," Yaun says. "He is now 25 and lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His art has led him to a very interesting life in Europe."

Kevin graduated from the Savannah College of Art and immediately got a job in Boulder, Colo. On a pleasure trip to Europe, he casually showed his artwork to a variety of people and wound up with a job there. He is currently living in a 15th century house and working for Phillips Electronics as part of their creative team. His contribution to the "Odyssey" exhibition is a large portrait of a female friend.

The colored pencil technique allows for creating great detail within a piece of art, although, according to Yaun, "Colored pencil done on a large scale is very time consuming."

Yaun said, "I love detail, and I love to draw in pencil. I found that I enjoyed the control I had with a pencil better than what control I had with a paint brush." Although the medium is colored pencil, many of the artists also excel in painting, pastel and other forms of art, and there are a few pieces in "Odyssey" which incorporate other mediums.

The Colored Pencil Society of Atlanta encourages anyone interested to attend their next meeting, which will be Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Spruill/Dunwoody Cultural Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road in Atlanta. For more information, visit their web site at www.cpsa107.org or call St Edwards' at 770-963-6128.

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