LITTLETON - Artists of Elements is set to host two events in May: a Lake Gaston Arts Guild Second Saturday showcase on May 8 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) followed on May 15 (2-5 p.m.) by a Terri-Ann Russell book signing. The 370 Lizard Creek Road art space will also hold its customary Second Saturday reception (6 to 8 p.m. with wine, hors d’oeuvres, desserts) for the Lake Gaston Arts Guild, which will have several of its artists featured in the gallery that owner Ellen Newbauer opened last summer.
What’s the significance of this Saturday’s event? Artists groups in the area haven’t had many opportunities to share and celebrate their work in the last year due to COVID-19. And the Lake Gaston Arts Guild is a particularly good fit for Artists of Elements, which aims to connect the different artists hubs nearby through the shared goal of showcasing local artwork. “I think it’s the diversity in the art here,” Newbauer said. “This show, there’s a lot of different artists; Some of them are painters; three-dimensional art; but most of it’s going to be painting or fabric art, or whatever. But it’s a group of people that come together, so we’re going to have a diverse show.”
Some of the Lake Gaston Arts Guild members are already on-board artists with Artists of Elements, and some are new. Here’s a sampling: Sarah Bolduc, John DuVall, Elizabeth Jones, Sandra McFadden, Karen Sielski, Ev Wesson, Denise Jordan, and Julia Paxton.
The point is to offer a space for different mediums to unite, for artists that don’t want or aren’t able to have their own gallery to display or sell their work, and to provide the public a place to have conversations about art - something that just hadn’t existed in recent years around Lake Gaston.
“My main goal is to bring in artists,” Newbauer said. “A lot of artists can’t be in a gallery all the time because they don’t do a turnover; They don’t have art that they create on a daily basis. We were going to do monthly shows; I call them trunk sales, pop-up tent, whatever you want to call them - to give those people opportunities, the ones that are doing it as a hobby or are really good at what they do, just not making a living with it. It gives them an opportunity to show their work. That’s what the guild is all about.”
The following week, Russell, a “multi-dimensional healer,” will read excerpts from her book “From Death to Life: The Incredible True Story of Anthony Joseph.” The Amazon description of the book reads, “Terri-Ann Russell takes us on a journey of loss, love and finally acceptance of the death of her treasured son, Anthony Joseph in her debut book. She leads us on a voyage of self-discovery, as she can now understand and feel what her clients have experienced for decades.”
Artists of Elements, which recently hosted a Lakeland Cultural Arts Center production, will continue its evolution as Newbauer expands classroom space from the main gallery into the adjacent room that houses her wood shop.
Newbauer credited outgoing manager Olivia Wiggins for helping further Artists of Element’s mission. “When I hired her in August, she came in here and made this what it is today,” Newbauer said. “I had a vision but I didn’t know how to get there... She did a tremendous job here.”
Since Artists of Elements opened, the on-board artist number has grown from six including Newbauer to 19. The new additions include Dian Sourelis (mixed media), Dukie Barner (mixed media/painting), Patrick Bedall (wood art), Randie Felts (Clarksville Weaver), and Leigh Griffin (mixed media/jewelry).
As for Second Saturdays, there’s just something about wine and art that seem to go together, especially as the weather warms and some COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
“It’s almost like people are looking forward to dressing up and going somewhere,” Newbauer said.