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Animals add to whimsical art
“Aunt Phibian on Holiday in the Keys,” an oil painting by Bonnie Sears, is part of the “Wild and Whimsical” exhibit on view through April 11 at The Center Gallery and Gallery Too. The Sautee Nacoochee Center exhibit will feature art by Sears and Eddy Browning.
‘Wild and Whimsical’
When: Through April 11
Where: Sautee Nacoochee Center galleries, 283 Ga. 255 N., Sautee
How much: Free; pieces available for purchase
More info: 706-878-3300

Gallery director Jim Thomas said getting ready for “Wild and Whimsical,” an exhibit on display through April 11 at the Sautee Nacoochee Center’s Center Gallery and Gallery Too, gave artists a chance to use their imaginations.

The show includes two featured artists, Bonnie Sears of Lula and Eddy Browning, and other regular gallery artists were also invited to contribute work.

“We’re loaded with goodies,” said Thomas. “Bonnie Sears is one of the two featured artists, and she has brought, probably, 40 pieces. And she has everything from realism to fantasy.”

Thomas said Sears uses a variety of media, but the pieces that stand out most to him are a series of oil paintings that feature a belly dancer in four different poses.

Sears also sometimes uses vertebrae found on her property in her work, Thomas said.

“(She) bleaches the vertebrae and paints them, and she has comical faces ... on the vertebrae,” he said.

Thomas said Browning also uses found objects for his sculptural work — scrap metal he sometimes finds on the roadside.

“They’re all made out of pieces of rakes, pieces of automobile parts, you name it. But he has a wonderful imagination.” The pieces, many covered in rust, include a turkey, centipede, fish, birds and even a person.

“He has an individual dragonfly on a big tall leaf that stands probably four feet tall,” Thomas said. “He has one that he calls ‘Gardener’ that is actually a standing figure, which is very cleverly done.”

Thomas said Browning’s pieces acquire a “nice patina” when you leave them out in the yard. He said other artists who contributed to the show also featured animals in their work.

“Some of them took the whimsical part of it and did something quite interesting, and others did wild animals,” said Thomas. “I have one gentleman that did the lion and the lamb, which is beautifully, beautifully done.”

The next exhibit at the SNCA galleries will be “Rain or Shine,” on display April 16-May 23.