Local art exhibit holds opening for children, teen and adult artists

If you go

• What: Opening Reception for “Bloom!,” “Blossoms!,” “Buds!” and “Kathy Fincher” exhibits

• When: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday

• Where: The Hudgens Center for the Arts, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Building 300, Duluth

• Cost: Free

• For more information: Visit thehudgens.org

DULUTH -- As the weather warms up, people want their winter blues to melt away while tree-and-flower bloom -- and the Hudgens Center for the Arts couldn't agree more. It is hosting an opening reception displaying four exhibits highlighting flowers and childhood on Saturday.

"All four exhibitions are opening simultaneously in different galleries and spaces here at the art center," Angela Nichols, director of education and public programs of Hudgens said. "One big celebration for all of these artists just seemed to make sense."

The four exhibits include "Bloom!," an invitational exhibition featuring Steve Penley, Kathy Fincher's exhibit "Capturing the Spirit of Childhood," "Blossoms!" highlighting talent from North Gwinnett High School, and "Buds!," a children's flower artwork invitational.

"The two board members who curated 'Bloom!,' Ann Morrow and Linda Lindeborg, came up with the concept for the exhibition," Nichols said. "They selected the common theme of flowers and then looked at how different artists use form and content to portray that subject matter. We deliberately chose an exhibition theme that would appeal to a wide audience."

The two individual artists on display, Penley and Fincher, are both from Georgia -- Fincher from Gwinnett.

Penley has had his work featured in many public and private collections throughout the United States. He is primarily known for his bold and vibrant paintings of historical and popular icons.

Fincher works primarily in pastel and creates portraits of children. Her artwork is licensed for use on many different types of products from books and calendars to blankets and nativity sets.

And as luck would have it, the other two smaller exhibits work hand-in-hand with the larger shows. The children were selected for "Buds!" simply: They are all enrolled in the fine art classes as the center. The high schoolers were chosen by their art teacher, Debi West from North Gwinnett High.

Nichols wants attendees to walk away with different thoughts from each exhibit.

"Because ("Bloom!") is centered around one common theme -- flowers -- we hope that attendees will walk away with an appreciation of individual artistic expression, as each artist approaches this subject matter in a different way and with varying materials," she said. "Kathy's exhibit allows us to tell the personal story of an artist and show her 20-year history as a successfully licensed artist."

All art will be on display until May 12.