Hi everybody! It's Taylor and I have officially been interning at Arts Quincy for a month now! I love the artistic opportunities I get to partake in, such as the Quincy Art Center’s Annual Member Exhibit Opening that I attended on Friday, June 29. The evening was full of fun, refreshments and incredible art created by QAC’s members.
In the Elizabeth M. Sinnock Gallery, QAC members presented their creative artwork. The art center welcomed Jake Schreacke on piano to accompany this exhibit. The live music made the evening even more enjoyable and helped to bring all of the artwork on display to life. At 7:30, guest artist talks were held and artists spoke about the inspiration behind their pieces and the techniques they used to execute their works of art. I found it so interesting how some artists were inspired by small things, such as a girl texting or flowers in a vase, and how others were inspired by big things, such as national parks or a black hole. No matter what the inspiration was, each work of art was beautiful and told its own story. I also appreciated the many different mediums of art that were represented at this event. There were photographs, paintings, sculptures, textiles, and more. This opening made me grateful for all of the diverse talent we have in our area and I was thrilled to be able to witness it.
In the Katherine Gardner Stevenson Gallery, works by Neysa McMein were displayed along with selections from the Quincy Art Center’s Permanent Collection. Singer/guitarist Kathy Brink accompanied guests as they walked through this gallery. Before viewing McMein’s pieces, there was a short autobiography posted about her. She is a true inspiration and shows that with talent and dedication, dreams can be achievable.
McMein was born in Quincy in 1889 and moved to New York after graduating from Quincy High School and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She went on to create magazine covers and the original Betty Crocker portrait for General Mills. She was also involved with the United State’s defense efforts during World War I and was one of three women to be appointed an honorary noncommissioned officer in the US Marine Corps. Throughout her career, she befriended many famous people such as Walt Disney and H.G. Wells. Upon her death, McMein donated her art to museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Quincy Art Center.
McMein’s magazine covers were beautiful and eye-catching, but one of my favorite pieces was her self-portrait which was hung next to a painting of her created by another artist. Seeing these two pictures side-by-side was quite eye-opening because her self-image came through in the painting as sad and dark while the other artist showed her in a beautiful light and used bright colors. I think this is a testament to the idea that even though it seems like you may have it all to others, you may have a different view of your own self-worth.
The Quincy Art Center’s Annual Member Exhibit Opening provided me with a fun and enriching evening, but it is not too late for you to have this same experience. These works of art will be on display until Friday, July 20, so be sure to see them before they are gone. The Quincy Art Center is open from 9 - 4 Monday - Saturday. For more information, please visit www.quincyartcenter.org or call 217-223-5900.