Gardeners will agree — a garden grows more than herbs and flowers. A well-attended plot can be a bit of paradise in color and contentment to a faithful planter.
This is the mood set by seven of the more than 20 artists featured in the current exhibit of East Alabama Artists Inc. at Noble Street Frame and Gallery in Anniston. Indeed, summer is in bloom in the shop where viewers can see a variety of floral works by Jack Hadder, Terry Harris, Tora Johnson, Kathy Jones, Tommy Moorehead, Judy Ritter and Rita Springer. And from the looks of it, their art stems from the love of beauty that gardens can provide.
The showy zinnia is the subject of one of Ritter’s works. Two of her mixed media paintings, “Zany Zinnias” and “Blue Vase,” reflect her favorite blooms, second only, she says, to the sunflower. Ritter, who is from Altoona, is the show’s featured artist and one of the newest members of East Alabama Artists.
Ritter’s oils and acrylics will also be on display at a new Anniston eatery — Prime, which will be located at 320 South Quintard Ave. The target opening date is Aug. 27, according to owner Randall B. Moore, who describes the restaurant’s atmosphere as “casual fine dining and bar.”
“(Moore) wanted color in his space and that I can provide,” Ritter explained. “In fact, besides being an impressionistic painter, I call myself a ‘colorist.’”
“Zany Zinnias” is a post-impressionistic work. It reminds some viewers of the bold colors and heavy brush strokes of Vincent Van Gogh, whose style, Ritter says, has served as an influence. In her piece, the flower arrangement is placed against a yellow wall — or strong sunshine — with a cascade of pastels flowing on the lower left side of the vase. The cascade, interpreted as a shadow by some patrons, first draws the eye into the picture.
“I painted what I felt, as (Van Gogh) did, and I felt very good about the content here,” Ritter said.
Ritter, who also writes poetry and short stories, has been a high-school teacher, a director of religious education and a partner in an art design business. She has sold more than 400 paintings since she began her career as an artist just seven years ago.
Her work has been displayed in the Wallace Hall Gallery at Gadsden State Community College and at Sacred Art Gallery in Birmingham, among other locations. John Miller, of Miller Gallery in Oneonta, said the artist “paints with the freshness of the French countryside. Her work is impressionistic with a Southern twist. You can feel her energy and love of painting.”
The show is open to the public and will be up until the next exhibit opens Nov. 1. The shop is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays.
CAST Kidz to meet in September
CAST Kidz, a 17-member performing arts group, will convene at an as yet unknown date in September, said Sherry French, assistant to CAST Kidz instructor Kim Dobbs. The group’s next production will be “Alice in Wonderland.” Their performing schedule typically includes a spot in Anniston’s Christmas parade and engagements at NHC Assisted Living. The group claimed two finalists in Anniston’s Got Talent — Cheslee Duke and Ramsey Whitney, both singers. During the school year the group meets Fridays from 4:30-6 p.m. at Anniston’s First Presbyterian Church in the Youth Activities Center. For more information, call French at 256-239-3069.