Bricolage, a two woman show by Julia Hardy Slaughter and Kelly Campbell, is a collection of acrylic paintings, pastels, screen prints, watercolor paintings, and oil paintings hanging in the Merkle Gallery March 2-30 with an artist reception Saturday, March 7, 6-8pm.
“We promised Colleen a title, and then we started googling synonyms for ‘mixture’ – because that’s what we have. Lots of words came up, and none of them were quite right until we saw ‘bricolage’ – and it was perfect. We just hope that our bricolage is unified at the end of this journey!” Slaughter and Campbell are great friends, and have no fear that their styles, although very different, are complementary.
Julia said, “Most of the paintings are abstract. The subject usually comes from an idea in my mind, or from a landscape photo (one of many snapped from the passenger side of a speeding vehicle driven by my #amazingboyfriendChuck) filled with intriguing shapes that sparks and idea.” She continued, “I love the challenge and excitement of taking that idea, and through its evolution, bringing the painting to the point where it will engage the viewer. I strive for balance of line, flow, and bright, beautiful color.”
Kelly said, “The pieces in Bricolage are really different from anything I’ve done before. Ever. I’ve always done realistic pieces. Even though the first shows I did here were really close up ‘pieces’, they were real things done in a realistic style. The third show (all those bicycles!) was realistic as well.” She said that the work for Bricolage is inspired by her photographs of rusty equipment in a friend’s shopyard. “But realistic? These pieces…well…not so much!” she laughed.
Julia is the middle child of six children, the mother/mother-in-law of seven, and grandmother of three beautiful children. Her family is her lovely, supportive sounding board. The IntrovertExtrovert Paintgirls are the wild and crazy sounding board she turns to. She said, “Both encourage me, because they know that the creative process makes me happy, makes me question, and makes me learn.”
A former member of the Visual Arts Committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center, Julia is currently serving on the SAAC Board of Directors. She participated in the “Take a Seat: A Night at the Arboretum” chair auction with “Sacré Bleu”. Her work has previously shown in solo exhibits at SAAC in the Price Gallery in 2011 and in the Merkle and Price Galleries in 2013.
Making art satisfies a need in Kelly’s soul and helps her keep the little sanity she has. She does some photography, but mostly she works in pastels, using her photos for reference. She said, “The process is therapy. I lose all sense of time and self when I’m working. Aside from satisfying the need to create something, the very best is whenever someone sees a piece of my artwork and feels a connection to it – and talks to me about it!”
A retired educator, Kelly is employed at the South Arkansas Arts Center where she is the general greeter, gallery manager, Visual Arts liaison, and Executive Assistant. She also teaches beginners’ pastel classes and Corks & Canvas classes at SAAC. Kelly participated in the “Take a Seat: A Night at the Arboretum” chair auction with “Let’s Dance!”, and was accepted into the SAAC Juried Art Competition in 2011, 2012, and 2014. Her work has previously shown in solo exhibits at SAAC in 2010, 2011 and 2013.