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ART BEAT: St. Edwards' Gallery presents 'Elizabethan Journey and Yorkshire Tour'

The gallery in St. Edwards' Episcopal Church in Lawrenceville has a new exhibition. This one takes the viewer on a trip through Britain with 19 oil paintings created by Stone Mountain artist Marjorie Foster. This is Fosters' third exhibition at St. Edwards Gallery.

The gallery is free and open to the public and continues through March 2. It is located at 737 Moon Road in Lawrenceville. Visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. through noon on Sundays. It is closed on Saturdays.

Born in Lakewood, Ohio, Marjorie studied textile design at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She then moved to Atlanta with her husband and started a family.Returning to work in graphic arts, she eventually moved into textile design. Along the way she attended Georgia State University to earn her bachelor's degree in textile design.She has studied portrait and figure painting with Roman and Constantine Chatov.

The paintings in this exhibition had their origin in 1995. That year, Foster, her husband, and two relatives made an "Elizabethan Tour" through Britain with a side trip through York. The trip included England, Scotland and Ireland. The paintings are a result of photographs and camcorder recordings taken at that time.

"This is about the third trip I have made to that area," Foster said. "The countryside around York was very memorable. I wanted to express it in an abstract way, and since I am no good at abstract painting, I chose a wide brush and broad strokes to achieve the effect."

"The trip was a two-week affair during the first of October. We saw Edinburg Castle, Holyrood Castle and several others along with Buckingham in London and the changing of the guards. I think the countryside around the city of York was memorable ... it just seemed to ramble on and on.York wasespecially interesting with its walled city. You could walk on the top of the wall," Foster said.

The exhibition visually describes Foster's artistic mission. She said, "I am interested in finding a subject to paint that will permit experimentation and an exaggeration of color.I am interested in achieving an end result that will be an inspirational experience for the viewer with a pleasant and reflective result.The power of the suggestive is much greater than the statement of reality. This is my theme in painting."

Foster is a member of ART Station in Stone Mountain and the Atlanta Artists Center.The Atlanta Artists Center, the largest fine art organization in the Southeastern USA, awarded Foster their highest credential, "Member of Excellence." Her collectors are from many cities in Georgia, Irving, Texas, West Orange, N.J., Greer, S.C., Baton Rouge, La., and Key Largo, Fla.

Foster is represented by Panoply Gallery in Newnan and Frameworks Gallery in Marietta. Her work and bio can be enjoyed on her website, www.marjoriefosterpaintings.com. For information about St. Edwards' Gallery, call 770-963-6128.

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