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Atlanta woman becomes a painter later in life, but her art doesn't show it

Frances Geiger's work on display until June 3 at Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville

POSTED: April 20, 2017 1:00 a.m.
/Courtesy of Quinlan Visual Arts Center

Frances Geiger, an 80-year-old Atlanta resident, has her artwork on display as part of the Spring Exhibitions from April 13 through June 3 at Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville.

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Originally from Canada, artist Frances Geiger didn’t get involved with art until she was in her mid-40s. But you couldn’t guess that from her artwork.

The 80-year-old Atlanta resident has her work on display as part of the Spring Exhibitions from April 13 through June 3 at Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville. 

However, it took quite some times before Geiger got into the art scene.

“I always wanted to go to college,” Geiger said, pointing out she had never attended college before. “(And) I hadn’t done any art at all except for what you do in school, like splatter painting or something like that. So I really had no art background until my mid-40s.”

That finally changed when she enrolled at Glendon College in Toronto.

“I had always thought that someone could be taught to draw or paint or what have you,” Geiger said. “It’s a long process, but I guess that’s where I am today.”

After attending Glendon for a year, she moved to the United States and continued her education. 

“We moved to Atlanta around 1983 or 1984 because of my husband’s business,” she said. “I think Agnes Scott had a return to college program and I enrolled in that. After about a year, I changed over to Kennesaw.”

Geiger explained since her children were teenagers at the time and she didn’t know anyone in Atlanta, attending college was “a natural way to go to keep busy.”

Her thought process paid off. Geiger received her Bachelor of Arts degree in art from Kennesaw State University, and art has been her main job ever since.

As a full-time artist, she explained her pieces are mainly abstract.

“It’s colorful, lots of texture,” she said. “I like playing with the colors and playing with the textures and letting my mind sort of wonder.”

But she has experimented with other mediums, including photography and realism.

“Photography was really my first love and since then I’ve branched out into painting,” she said. “I’ve done realism, but I just found it sort of a little boring because you’re sticking to what you can photograph,” she said. “I can take a photograph and paint it. But to me, I have a photograph, so why would I paint it?”

As for her pieces at the Quinlan, Geiger said it’s “a retrospective of different aspects of (her) art.”

“It’s pieces from when I started to current times,” she said.  “There was nothing specific that we had in mind.”



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