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Crowds walk through winter exhibitions
Three artists' work on display at Quinlan Visual Arts Center
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Judy Carpenter, lower right, talks with a reporter last week at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center Winter Exhibition opening reception. Carpenter’s “Evolution” collection is textiles in mixed media. - photo by NAT GURLEY

Quinlan Visual Arts Center Winter Exhibitions

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: 514 Green St., Gainesville

How much: Free

More info: 770-536-2575 or

Art may be views of the coast and past travels or the illustration of the battles that life throws in one’s path. For the artists in Quinlan’s winter exhibitions, art is just that — it is what you make it.

A crowd of art enthusiasts took a break from the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season to check out the new art from three artists hanging at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center off Green Street in Gainesville. The featured artists — Paige Harvey, Alex McKibbin and Judy Carpenter — have their works exhibited in the main room.

Carpenter expresses her art in a different form. Instead of the usual paint and canvas, she uses surface design such as quilting.

She explained her grandparents showed her the art of quilting at a very young age.

“I didn’t like the fabrics that were already premade, so I started dying,” she said during the opening reception. “I began taking classes to learn all the different techniques.”

Carpenter became fascinated with all the different ways to manipulate the fabric and welcomed the challenges of new fabrics.

Her artistry also proved therapeutic while she fought breast cancer.

“It really helped,” she said. “It gave me something to focus on while going through chemotherapy, to work through the cancer, and to work through the issues.”

Carpenter used the challenges of battling cancer as an inspiration, but nature is also a prominent subject in her works.

Inspiration takes on many forms in the art world. Travels throughout the United States and Africa inspired Harvey’s works. The University of Georgia art graduate and former drawing professor at Brenau University paintings detail the Oregon coast and the scenery of Ethiopia.

“Most of the art that you see is inspired from a certain journey that I went on in the world,” she said.

On Quinlan’s website, Harvey’s piece “Nocturnal Realm,” was inspired from her vacation to Ethiopia during the Christmas season.

“They go on a pilgrimage to a city called Lalibela and every person that goes to the church, man or woman, is wearing a white shawl of some sort,” Harvey said. “I started painting the birds that I saw. I put the white in and it (the painting) started suggesting the white gauze that the people were wearing.

“I didn’t set out to for this painting to be about Ethiopia. It just turned out that way.”

Painter Robin Terrell found himself drawn to the different works at Quinlan.

“I really enjoy looking at other people’s art,” he said. “I like trying to understand it better, and I like to see what other people are doing and how I can improve my humble approach to it.”

The winter exhibitions at 514 Green St. will be on display until Feb. 15. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Quinlan is closed Sundays.

Quinlan will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 24, and Wednesday, Dec. 25. The arts center will reopen Dec. 26 and debuts its holiday hours for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.