“In and Around Marysville” is the November exhibition at the Lee Dam Center for Fine Art, Marysville. The exhibit features twenty oil paintings by Debra Payne who has been the artist in residence for the Marshall County Arts Cooperative over the past year.
Payne spent four weeks in Marysville, one week per season, to capture the beauty of the area at different times throughout the year. Her visit culminates with this exhibition featuring paintings not only of Marysville, but of the surrounding community, too.
The display opens Thursday, November 2, with an artists reception from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Payne will be available to talk about her art and explain the process she uses to create her paintings. The exhibit closes Sunday, November 26.
The art center is open Thursdays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.; Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
“At the show you will see familiar yet surprising snippets of Marysville,” Payne said. “These locations are places that you have passed by dozens of times. There are scenes of the roads in and around Marysville, the sculptures, the buildings, and the people.”
Payne said Marysville was filled with interesting subjects each time she visited. Spending an extended period of time allowed her the opportunity to work in a unique location and to become familiar with the spot and the people that live here.
Payne said her painting process starts by wandering around, either on foot or in her car, until she finds inspiration. Once found she opens her sketchbook to do thumbnail sketches.
“These are small sketches to establish the shapes and placement of objects, their values, and the overall shape of the canvas,” she explained.
She then chooses the canvas that most closely matches the intended shape, and then starts painting in a limited palette sometimes using only a couple of colors to establish the placement and value of the shapes.
Payne is known for her intimate, oil painted portraits of neighborhoods, streets, buildings, and the countryside. The spots she chooses are rarely the landmarks of the community but rather the back alleys, railroad crossings, and middle-class homes of small towns in the Midwest. The subject matter is usually overlooked by most. Her palette is limited to just a few pigments creating images that invite the viewer to understand the space in a simplified fashion void of nostalgia.
“We are looking forward to seeing her final paintings,” said Brad Ekiss, president of the arts cooperative. “It’s been a great opportunity for us to work with her over the past year. While here she’s been able to work with students which is an added bonus.”
This is Payne’s third residency in Kansas; she has completed similar projects in Newton and Lindsborg.
For more information people may visit the arts cooperative’s website at marshallcountyarts.org.