ART BEAT: 'Real/Unreal/Surreal' challenges viewers' concept of reality

Reality is an individual concept, and for artists, that concept can take on all types of creative flights of imagination. Proving this is Kudzu Art Zone's spring exhibition titled "Real/Unreal/Surreal," which consists of approximately 32 works in a variety of media.

The exhibition is being held at the galleries and artists' studios located at 116 Carlyle St. in Norcross. Viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

"Real/Unreal/Surreal" explores individual notions of reality with a mix of abstract, semi-abstract and realistic works that use a variety of traditional and nontraditional media in fresh and innovative ways.

Awards given for the show were first, second and third place honors plus three honorable mentions. First-place winner Lea Marshall's oil painting, "Going Home," uses expressionistic brush strokes that evoke the Italian landscapes of her childhood while second place winner Burt Grossman explores abstract design through collage with his work "Quelque Chose."

David Raderstorf, who received the third-place award in the exhibit for his work "Golden Moons," uses India ink, polyester webbing and other media.

Lucy Brady's delicate watercolor, "Fantastic Machine," depicts a whimsical factory-like machine and won honorable mention in the show. Wanda Watson, who also won honorable mention for "Zebra Fish Motif," uses intricate and colorful patterns to create an imaginary undersea environment.

Artist Deborah Love, an avid world traveler who once took a year off from work to travel in Europe and Asia, employs mixed media in her work "A Place in Time" to reminisce about her travels with a cityscape where towers and clocks are prominent. Other artists in the show chose to depict a more traditional notion of reality. Linda Brown's, "The Old Mill Stream," is a exquisitely rendered, realistic landscape.

While this exhibition is rewarding viewers and visitors to the gallery, the Kudzu organization is also planning another important event.

Kudzu Art Zone will be hosting its first Open Juried Exhibit from June 4 to July 27. The show will be held in the galleries at 116 Carlyle St. It is open to Georgia artists working in two-dimensional and three-dimensional media. There will also be more than $2,000 in cash and merchandise awarded during this show from Kudzu Art Zone.

The Open Juried Exhibit will be juried by artist Larry Walker. Walker's career spans more than 50 years and his work is included in the permanent collections of many museums, private collections and corporations.

The deadline for entries for the Open Juried Exhibit is May 17. Further details and a prospectus are on the Kudzu Art Zone website at www.kudzuartzone.org. Artists interested in participating can also stop by the gallery on Friday or Saturday during open hours and chat with the staff about this open juried event or call 770-840-9844.

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