Art Class Presents Years of Work

Art class presenting years of work

by Angela Oliver Messenger-Inquirer | Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013 12:00 am

Instead of reading certain children's stories to her, Marylyne Miller's father would sketch the characters and tell the stories through drawings.

"My daddy was so neat in how he did that," Miller said. "I was about 3 years old, and since then, I've loved to paint."

Several of Miller's paintings, along with about 200 others, are on display for "For the Love of Art III." The exhibit will run until April 18 in the gallery at the Ralph Center for Fine Arts and Communication Arts, South Griffith Avenue and College Street. The gallery is open form 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Opening receptions will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. Some paintings will be on sale.

Local artist Rhonda McEnroe organized the show as part of the weekly group art class she teaches.

The exhibit features oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings from 36 students. Most are based in realism.

Many in the art class, like Miller, have attended for 10 years or more. But there are a few new students.

"All my life I've wanted to produce more art, but I just didn't have the time or the opportunity," said Donna West. "I'm a microbiologist, so I'm in a lab all day. Painting is such a stress reliever. It challenges me, and it's my outlet for creativity."

McEnroe has hosted the show every five years. Waiting gives the artists a chance to build their collection of work, she said.

"There's a lot of hard work," she said. "But I love to see their faces when people respond to their paintings. I love the smiles, the pride. They put their heart into their art, and that deserves to be acknowledged."

And the shows reveal a lot about Owensboro, said Pat O'Brien, who is also new to the class, though he's been painting since 1979.

"Our community is rich with artistic people," he said. "There are pockets of artists all over the area, and events like this give great exposure."

Painting buildings and perspectives comes easily for the business economics-trained grocery store owner, but the class encourages wider inspiration, he said.

"Once you get into painting, you never look at anything the same," he said. "You ride down the roads and think about how you could paint a landscape and what would come first and how to make the shadows — you gain a new eye for everything."

Art is also "similar to religion," O'Brien said. "The class, for me, is like a worship experience."

McEnroe's arts students range from ages 6 to 86 and include artists of all skill levels.

Despite the differences, many of the students agreed that aside from practice and professional instruction, McEnroe's art class gives them something to cherish: friendship.

"The camaraderie is something I look forward to every week," said Sherry Henshaw, who reignited her passion for art once her children grew up. "I had to relearn some techniques, but everyone's so supportive, and Rhonda is a great teacher. I'm in awe of everyone's work, and I know the community will be, too."

Another goal of "For the Love of Art III" is to plants seeds of interest in art, McEnroe said. To help, Kentucky Educational Television will film part of the art class Thursday and the opening reception Friday. The event will be featured on the network's show "Kentucky Life" and will air at 7 p.m. April 25.

"We're very excited about that, and we hope to see people come talk to the artists and ask questions," she said. "I've been amazed to see a mix of generations take my class and who knows, this could spark interest in the next."

The art show is free and open to the public. The art class meets at 2 p.m. every Thursday at Breckenridge Street United Methodist Church, 1400 Breckenridge St. Semi-annual workshops and private lessons are also available. For more information, call McEnroe at 684-9910 or visit the website


Angela Oliver, 691-7360,

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