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Kelly Gowan: Taking Strength from Her Art

How an Emerging East Texas Artist Beat Breast Cancer and Made Her Dreams Come True

In the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, I am proud to introduce an amazing abstract artist, who also happens to be a stage III Breast Cancer Survivor. Her name is Kelly Gowan, and she is someone you are definitely going to want to follow.

Earlier this year, Kelly was accepted in the prestigious Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival, where more than 1,500 artists applied and only about 215 were accepted. By the end of the weekend her booth had sold out, and the event proved to be a springboard from which she hasn’t slowed down.

Her styles are unique with jaw dropping large pieces of abstract resins that look like oceans or marble geode rocks. She slips into her painting zone where she mixes resin with various mediums and inks, while utilizing a blow torch and heat gun to achieve the end results. She also does abstract acrylics utilizing water and movement to create unique pieces. These crazy acrylics are done outside where she can be as messy as she wants. Her paintings are all created from feelings of the moment. The images formed during the process can betray many different emotions, but you will see in her work it is mostly peace, happiness, and strength. She has successfully worked with clients’ homes and businesses to come up with pieces of art that truly add beauty to the environment and she welcomes commissioned work.

Kelly is excited to have her first art exhibition in Tyler. If you enjoy art, food, and drinks, you should come see her October 14th, 1-8pm, at Tyler Innovation Pipeline, 217 E. Oakwood St., Downtown Tyler, just blocks from the activities of Tyler’s main street and across from the Tyler Transit Department and Cotton Belt Depot.

Drinks are being donated by True Vine Brewery, and there will be some local food trucks as well. The Tyler Innovation Pipeline is housed in an early 20th century building that was completely renovated with all new state of the art technology and machinery for an entrepreneurship shared space of the community’s freelancers, consultants, and Shark Tank want-to-be’s. Gowan’s art is now on display throughout the entire building and is also for sale. There will be auctioned art on October 14th during the monthly Hit the Bricks event Downtown, as well as other pieces and prints you can purchase and take with you.

Kelly’s art is displayed in a growing list of other East Texas locations as well. As part of its interior renovation, Wasabi’s Sushi Restaurant off Broadway and Donnybrook Ave. is hosting a six-month exhibit of Kelly’s pieces throughout the restaurant that are for sale.

Her pieces are also featured in what she calls “a hidden gem for great pizza” at Moe’s Pizza near Holly Lake Ranch. Moe recently renovated his restaurant after a flood, and the modern new interior design with tall ceilings and gorgeous cedar beam accents make for a great place to hang some of her art.

Kelly Gowan is an amazing example of what happens when someone goes through a life altering experience, such as breast cancer. She went from owning a staffing company, living in Dallas, to fulfilling her dreams of living on a lake and painting. But before she got to where she is today, she was truly put to the test of life with cancer.

Kelly was only 31 and had two babies in diapers in 2005 when she was diagnosed with the most aggressive type of breast cancer, stage III, in her lymph nodes. Her cancer was detected because she felt a lump while taking a shower.  Initially it was thought to be related to recently having had babies, but later found out it was cancer. Before she knew it, her life spiraled, and she had a port installed to administer chemo, a lumpectomy, which did not get all the cancer, a bi-lateral mastectomy, radiation, reconstruction, and after care.

She is here today as a testimony to anyone going through cancer, to never give up and to follow your dreams. She believes very strongly in the power of prayer and staying positive. All that she went through helped bring her to where she is today.

When not creating resins in her inside studio, she loves to be outside with her paint, canvas, and water. Not only the water in the lake giving her inspiration, but she is a messy painter who uses water with various mediums to achieve a specific look such as in the painting of a tree she called “Strength.” “Strength” was actually a painting she submitted to apply as an artist in the Fort Worth Main Street Art Show.

Strength is what Kelly truly represents. Prints of this painting will be for sale at her exhibition on October 14th at Tyler Innovation Pipeline.

For more info about Kelly’s journey of art and life go to kellygowan.com or find Kelly Gowan Art on Facebook.

Art

Gallery Main Street hosts First Digital Exhibit

Gallery Main Street will host their first digital exhibit from May 1 to July 7. While facilities continue to be closed or with limited hours due to COVID-19, pictures and virtual tours of this exhibit will be available at www.DowntownTyler.org. Art will also be available for purchase online.

The spring exhibit is an open theme to allow local artists an opportunity to spotlight their different mediums, methods, visions and experiences.

“Art never stops,” said Main Street Director Amber Varona. “Now more than ever it is important to create innovative opportunities for artists to display and sell their art.”

This will be the first juried exhibit in the new gallery space inside the Plaza Tower. The space provides the artwork to be visible beyond the hours of the Main Street office and by patrons visiting the new first floor retail bays. The gallery serves as a valued centerpiece to the beautifully furnished atrium that serves as an inviting gathering spot.

For more information, visit www.DowntownTylerArts.com or call (903) 593-6905.

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Online UT Tyler MFA and BFA Art Exhibits Now Available

The University of Texas at Tyler has announced online art exhibitions featuring the work of students who graduated this spring with Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees.

Traditionally held on campus, the exhibitions were modified for online viewing as a safeguard in response to the coronavirus. The work of four MFA and eight BFA graduates can be viewed at uttyler.edu/meadowsgallery/events.

“While we are heavy-hearted about the inability to celebrate our student achievements face to face, we recognize the importance of taking precautionary measures during this time,’’ said Merry Wright, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History. “We are pleased to announce our online exhibitions, and we are incredibly proud of the students featured. They have remained steadfast in their commitment to creating and have approached the unfolding events with the highest caliber of professionalism.’’

MFA Exhibitions

Artists featured in the MFA exhibitions include:

Jessica Sanders of Tyler makes delicate-looking ceramic sculpture. Her exhibition is titled “Attach | Manipulate | Respond.” “This body of work deals with form, space, and visual accessibility,’’ Sanders said. “The pieces are made up of small, individual ceramic pieces that are attached together with wire, making flexible ceramic sheets.”

John Miranda’s exhibition, “Pan Dulce in the Sauce,“ features sculpture and paintings inspired by his hometown of Del Rio. “My work is a visceral response to a lived reality, an abstraction of space and memory,’’ he said.” Inanimate entities become communities within space as I try to find a balance between cultural history and personal experiences.”

Laminda Miller of Gladewater makes animal sculptures of epoxy clay and mixed media. Her exhibition, “Intentions,’’ features deceptively whimsical works that are allegorical representations of the social, psychological and literal constructs of identity.

Nora Schreiber of Tyler explores a curiosity of the world around her in her exhibition titled “ALL IT CAN BE IS WHAT IT WAS NAMED.” She asks her audience to step into a visual exploration of the mundane in their daily lives, with a theatrical twist.

BFA Exhibition

Artists highlighted in the BFA exhibition, titled “Nascent,’’ include

Lidia Alvidrez of Dallas – Avridrez’s work as a ceramic artist is influenced by her life experiences and dealing with a mental disorder.

Katherine Emmel of Overton – Emmel’s work is focused primarily in painting and reflects

 

several dystopian and emotional narratives found within everyday society.

Willow Lanchester of Tyler – Lanchester works primarily in clay and metal sculpture. Her art pieces are focused permutations of form that explore themes of concealed information.

Maggie Pierce of Tyler – Pierce uses photo-based printmaking techniques to create highly altered versions of desert landscape. Her work examines the landscape and our relationship to it as something that is mediated by various technologies.

Payton Poole of Tyler – Poole works with multimedia, three-dimensional sculptures, both interactive and wearable, that open conversations about mental illness and the stigma against it.

Grace Richardson of Troup – Richardson uses screen-printing methods to create non- objective forms that render familiarity through their interactions and emphasis on color. A vocabulary of shape and color is established through these arrangements, creating a relationship and language between form and viewer.

Justin Witherspoon of Kilgore – Witherspoon is a printmaker who works in both relief and mono-type. His current body of work is focused on contrasting hard lines and stark objects with nebulous color, inviting exploration.

Teresa Young of Marshall – Young is a sculptor whose works incorporate disposed items such as shipping material and objects from nature. The items signify abandonment and reincarnation.

For more information about the exhibitions, contact Michelle Taff, UT Tyler gallery and media coordinator, at 903-566-7237 or mtaff@uttyler.edu.

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Historic Tyler Celebrates with 26th Annual Photo Contest

May is a time when thousands of individuals around the country join in a nationwide celebration of National Preservation Month, sponsored annually by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This May, Preservation Month is going virtual.  Even though many historical places are physically closed right now, we hope to excite current preservation supporters and introduce new audiences to the preservation work that makes our community special by opening a window to a world of adventure online.

The National Trust created Preservation Week in 1973 to spotlight grassroots preservation efforts in America.  Since then, it has grown into an annual celebration observed by small towns and big cities across the United States. Due to its popularity, the National Trust extended the event to the entire month of May, which was then declared Preservation Month to provide more opportunities to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country’s cities and states. The hope is to introduce more Americans to the growing preservation movement.

Here at Historic Tyler, we will celebrate Preservation Month by virtually highlighting preservation efforts made here in our own beautiful Rose City, and by hosting our annual Photo Contest.  Historic Tyler’s Photo Contest has been a Preservation Month staple for over twenty-five years, and this year’s theme is Beyond Your Basic Brick. We have picked historic properties throughout the Azalea and Charnwood historic districts that feature interesting bricks, brick patterns or brick details.

To enter the photo contest, identify each photograph by its address or name and submit answers to Historic Tyler, Inc., P.O. Box 6774, Tyler, TX, 75711, send an email to historic@suddenlinkmail.com or private message us on social media.  Entries must be submitted no later than end-of-day, Monday, June 21, 2020.  The entry with the highest number of correct answers will be awarded a family membership in Historic Tyler, Inc. and $50 cash.  In the event of ties, a drawing will be held to determine the winner.

To enter the photo contest, identify each photograph by its current name or address and submit answers to: Historic Tyler, Inc., P.O. Box 6774, Tyler, TX, 75711, Send an email to historic@suddenlinkmail.com, or Private message us on social media.

Entries must be submitted no later than end of day, Monday, June 21, 2020. The entry with the highest number of  correct answers will be awarded a family membership in Historic Tyler, Inc. and $50 cash. In the event of ties, a drawing will be held to determine the winner.

Historic Tyler, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, was founded in 1977 with a mission “to promote the preservation and protection of historic structures and sites through advocacy, education, involvement, and private and public investment.”  It is a membership-based organization with many preservation accomplishments to its credit.  Executive Director Mrs. Washmon invites you to visit their website:  www.historictyler.org for more information on the organization, which is located in the Charnwood District at 110 E. Charnwood Street.

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