GALLIPOLIS — Griffins, dragons and firebirds … oh my! Colorful, fantasy creatures from air, land and sea abound in the French Art Colony’s exhibit for May, “Mythological Creatures.” Professional artist, Kate Kerr, and youth artist, Molly Markley, are featured in the imaginative display of two-dimensional and three-dimensional works.
Kate Kerr, from Wheelersburg, Ohio, has more than 25 years experience in the field of fine art and design. She has worked as an interior designer, art consultant, teacher and international crafts development specialist. Her work has taken her to Southeast Asia, West Africa and Eastern Europe, inspiring her creativity and giving her insight into remote cultures and traditional beliefs as she worked with artisans.
Kerr’s artworks in, “Mythological Creatures,” include watercolors, sketch drawings, oil pastel and a large-scale silk-batik. She began this body of work in 2010 with watercolor paintings geared for, “children and adults with active imaginations.”
Molly Markley is a sophomore at Jackson High School, and is a former resident of Gallia County. Her works include a number of three-dimensional creatures constructed using ancient Chinese origami techniques, involving individual paper modules put together in set patterns to create shapes. Markley’s elaborate sculptures use between 400 and 9,000 individual pieces to create a single design.
Markley is a self-taught artist who started learning origami in the fifth grade after being inspired by the story, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.” She plans to continue her artistic journey.
“Art, to me, is more than techniques; it is a lifestyle. Art is a way of life that a person cannot simply leave behind,” Markley explained.
A number of area school groups are scheduled to visit the French Art Colony to enjoy the exhibit and to take part in interactive activities to enhance the experience. The FAC plans to offer origami classes taught by Markley in the coming months.
The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
“Mythological Creatures” is on display in the French Art Colony Galleries, located at 530 First Avenue, in Gallipolis, through May 30. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday; 1-5 p.m., Sunday; and, closed on Mondays. Admission is free. For more information call (740) 446-3834.