”The late, great artist Julie Traxler was already a legend when I arrived in Eureka Springs 20 years ago. Her untimely death in 1999 was a shock and loss to our community.
Considered an outsider artist, Julie would paint on anything she found interesting, from bowling balls to garbage can lids. She also painted on canvas and sculpted with found objects.
For the July art show at BREWS, I’ve invited nine artists who fit the criteria of outsider – unschooled and not necessarily established in the artist community, but who continue producing work while sticking to their vision.
Ambur Rockell is a talented singer-songwriter who also paints with make-up, creating portraits of country stars like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Wanda Jackson.
Regina Smith arrived in Eureka Springs in her art car several years ago and, like Traxler, paints on anything that has a surface. Regina managed to steal the show at the Finding Nature exhibit with her painted tire installation a couple of years ago.
Russell Harrison has been focusing on abstracting the landscape on canvas. He has created a landscape triptych for the show.
Teresa Pelliccio DeVito is a newcomer to painting, but has an intuitive command of color, balance, and form in her work.
Jon Bell is a newcomer to Eureka Springs. Jon has been painting for many years and arrived with his partner from Las Vegas last September. His paintings are bright, colorful and full of cheer.
Josh Clark also recently arrived with his partner, from east Arkansas. Josh makes intricate beaded jewelry but also loves to work on 4 x 6 inch canvas.
Jon and Josh both show at The Green Gourd on Center St.
Katy Guetziaff and Shannon Newcomb are young, talented and take their art seriously. 18 year-old Shannon is quickly finding her voice as an artist, and Katy is busy organizing a support group for younger artists in town.
By chance I was introduced to the work of Cathy Jackson, a mentally-challenged local whose parents were artists and who has been painting all her life, and whose work has never been showcased outside her home.
And then there is Traxler. John Mitchell of Mitchell’s Folly has given me a few of Julie’s works that will be up on the wall of BREWS for the entire month of July, and available for purchase.
It’s going to be an interesting show.
Opening reception is this Thursday, July 2, from 5 ‘til 8 p.m.
BREWS is located at 2 Pine St. – across the street from the Eureka Springs post office.
Pictured is an acrylic painting titled “Day of the Dead” by Julie Traxler from the collection of John Mitchell
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