Monday, March 23, 2009

Inspiriation Italy Exhibit

Art Show Evokes the Colors and Textures of Italy at the Lichtenstein

A trio of women artists journeyed together in 2007 to the sunbathed town of Cortona in the heart of Tuscany and captured the beauty of the region on paper and canvas. Now on display at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts through April 11, the show Inspiration Italy: 3 Women Paint the Heart of Tuscany features plein air paintings in watercolors and oils that enliven the spirit with the colors and light of Tuscany.

The exhibit features work by artists Karen Arp-Sandel, Carol Acquilano and Leigh Ann Smith, who share their love of Cortona, Italy through a rich array of paintings, offbeat mixed media and shrines, sketchbooks and text. Cortona is perhaps most widely known as the setting of the bestselling book, Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. The exhibit captures the exuberance of their encounter with the art, history and spirituality of this remarkable Tuscan town, perched atop Mount Sant’Egidio. Inspiration Italy is part of the first annual Berkshire Festival of Women in the Arts.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 21, from 4pm-6pm, and will be catered by Chef Christine Buchholz, owner of Viva Fresh Pasta in Northampton, Massachusetts. Christine will entice the viewers with the smells and tastes of Italy. She visited the artists during their artist retreat in Cortona, bringing her passion for Italian cuisine to the experience. The reception is free and open to the public.

In addition, on Saturday April 11, at 11am, the artists will present an artist talk on plein air (or outdoor) painting along with a gallery tour of the exhibition. This final presentation of the exhibit will also be free and open to the public.