“Tour d’Art,” the semi-annual all-member-featured exhibit for November at In-Town Gallery brings a French flair to the Holiday Open House. Inspired by classic and contemporary masters in the art center of the world, the 34 co-op gallery artists have produced their own masterpieces for this holiday opener.
These all-new works will be displayed on the “Left Bank” and “Right Bank” throughout the gallery. French cuisine will give flavor to the ’tres bon’ refreshments which will include breads from the boulangerie and desserts from the patisserie, with imported wines. The opening reception is from 5 to 8 p.m. on “First Friday,” Nov. 1. The exhibit continues through November 30.
As you approach In-Town Gallery by the Walnut Street walking bridge over the Tennessee River, imagine striding along the pedestrian Pont des Arts over the River Seine in Paris.
A fleur-de-lis stained-glass panel by Carolyn Insler is an appropriate symbol of welcome. She is motivated by the magnificent windows of Sainte-Chapelle. Another glass artist, Mary Beth McClure, layers patterned sheets of glass fused in a kiln to form platters and bowls with Lalique-like quality. Large oil paintings on canvas by Chuck Frye, which he calls “new American realism,” portray local scenes in the city and countryside that could be views of Paris streets and southern France.
The five jewelers will show their custom creations in a “Chic Boutique” which can be seen along the Champs-Elysees. Eleanor Goodson, Mary Clor, Marian Kern, Barbara Murnan and Laura Brock each have distinct designs formed with precious metals, pearls, beads, stones and jewels.
Natural clay is transformed into high-styled dinnerware, vessels, lamps and figures by three talented potters: Roger Harvey, Ted Reeder and Sheila Fulghum. All these pieces are worthy of the Louvre.
Edgar Degas has a rival in the graceful dancer figures of Ellen Franklin. Multimedia artist Bradley Wilson produces character drawings reminiscent of Toulouse-Lautrec. Plein air painters Marie Miller, Janis Wilkey and Victoria Pearmain capture the fresh colors and luminosity of the Impressionists Monet, Cezanne and Renoir.
Portrait artist Maddin Corey could have studied with Berthe Morisot, as her ’look’ and skin tones are similar. Peggy Huffstutler brings a dimensional likeness to her collage of a French doorway.
The Bayeux tapestries represent historic events of that era in France, but Linda White’s pieced and stitched art quilts utilize shapes and colors that are equally fascinating. Jennie Kirkpatrick has traveled extensively in France and her market scenes have the flavor of Provence. Gay Arthur’s paintings of industrial structures reflect the exterior design of the “moderne” Pompidou Center in Paris, where avant-garde artworks like those created by Leslie Dulin, Coyee Langston, Lori Ryan and Helen Brooks are hung.
Julie Clark’s steel sculptures relate to the Art Nouveau ironwork of the traditional entrances to the Paris Metropolitan subway. John McLean’s transparent watercolors exhibit the essence of Alfred Sisley’s tranquil seascapes. The intricate pen-and-ink drawings of Doug McCoy and etchings by Linda Thomas show influences from DaVinci. The elegant simplicity of Doug Barker’s tables and cabinets and the turned wood pieces by Jim Roche is superb. All these artists’ works compare favorably with the art and fine crafts shown at the Musee d’Orsay.
The award-winning photography of Spears McAllester specializes in winter scenes and mountain vistas in the Western states and far-flung regions of Nepal that rival the snowy peaks of the French Alps. Virginia Webb’s photos document the local bridges and misty cemetery vistas that remind one of the more elaborate spans across the Seine and even the famous Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise that is a ‘city’ in itself.
Last on the list but first in the gallery, Jane Yelliott completes 29 years as a member of In-Town. A versatile artist, she creates colorful designs on clay tiles, pastel portraits, watercolor paintings, and oils on canvas — typical examples of the wonderful variety found in the artists’ village of Montmartre in Paris.
In-Town Gallery, founded in 1974, will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year and is one of the oldest cooperative galleries in the nation. It presents the original work of more than 30 regional studio artists. It is located at 26A Frazier Avenue, between the Market Street and Walnut Street bridges, adjacent to Coolidge Park on the North Shore of the Tennessee River.
The gallery is open every day year-round, except major holidays. For more information, Call 267-9214, or visit www.intowngallery.com or www.facebook.com /intowngallery.