Artists and close acquaintances Colette Odya Smith and Tom Kubala will be featured in a new exhibition entitled “The Light of Thy Favor,” in Gallery 110 North of the Plymouth Arts Center, August 10, 2018 through October 5, 2018. Odya Smith, a pastel artist, creates thoughtful and tranquil landscapes which blend realism and abstraction. Kubala, a watercolor artist, allows the painting to develop as the colors mix, the result a glimpse of our surroundings in still life and landscapes.
The public is invited to meet the artists at the opening reception on Friday, August 10 from 4:30 to 7:00pm. Admission to the gallery is always free, thanks in part to our generous sponsors. The Plymouth Arts Center is located at 520 E. Mill Street in Downtown Plymouth, WI officially, “The Cheese Capital of the World.”
Colette Odya Smith :
has always been an artist, even long before she could name herself that way. As a child she was happiest in a corner making pictures and art projects; next best was exploring outdoors. She traded her cleaning chores with her brothers for the chance to tend the yard and garden. Growing up in Milwaukee, WI in a large working-class family, the nearby parks and lakes, especially the shores of Lake Michigan became her playgrounds. She said, “the colors, the light, the transformations of the seasons of the upper Midwest seeped into me and my enthusiasm for the landscape has been bubbling up out of me in various ways ever since.”
After earning a degree in Fine Art, Humanities, and Education Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, Colette taught art in Wisconsin schools for a decade and raised two creative children. She continued to make art around the edges. Later on, while taking classes at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design she fell in love with pastels and has been working nearly exclusively with them since. For the past 20 years, she has been able to focus on her painting career, exploring ways to express the mystery and wonder she feels in the ‘school’ of nature, seeking The Divine hidden in His creation. Using the technique of laying pastels over a watercolor underpainting, Colette has developed methods that expand the expressive range of this versatile medium, at times using ripped and layered surfaces, textured elements and gold and copper leaf.
Colette’s paintings have been exhibited widely and featured in numerous art publications in the United States and France, receiving many regional and national awards. She is particularly honored by the recognition of her artist colleagues, having been named a Master Pastellist of le Societe des Pastellistes de France, a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, and earned Masters Circle designation in the International Association of Pastel Societies, and Distinguished Pastellist honors in the Pastel Society of New Mexico. Her work is displayed in public, corporate, and private collections. She continues to feel blessed to be an artist and to be able to do the work she loves. Whether painting, teaching, judging, writing, she offers her work in the spirit of service. For more information, visit Colette’s website: http://www.coletteodyasmith.com
Tom Kubala :
began painting soon after learning to walk. Drawing and painting has been his constant companion ever since. Currently, Tom paints weekly with a group of friends known only to themselves as the Dumpster School. His subjects range from local architecture and landscapes to still life objects. Watercolor has been Tom’s media of choice primarily because of its simplicity and portability, painting plein air (outside) is a particular pleasure for him. Tom finds the major task in painting…. is getting out of the way, both spiritually and physically. Spiritually, to see the painting as it unfolds - without the filter of a concept or abstract notion. Physically, so as not to interfere with the paint’s own mixing - directly on the paper. Tom believes that a painting is a painting, that it must stand on its own as a collection of colored blotches on white paper, a collection that has the ability, if organized properly, to bring life to the world where none existed before. Subject matter is only a starting point for his paintings, an organizing framework for color and value.
Tom is the principal and co-founder of Kubala Washatko Architects, a full service architectural, planning, and interior design firm providing award-winning expertise for a wide range of project types. TKWA was founded in 1980 by Tom Kubala and Allen Washatko. In 2006, the firm received the AIA Firm Award, which is the highest honor given by the state’s professional service organization. Their work has earned over 90 state and national design awards. Tom has participated in designing many local buildings, including the Milwaukee Public Market, the Urban Ecology Center, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, as well as many others throughout the country.
From a recent interview “Architecture Meets WaterColors with Artist Tom Kubala”
with Audrey Nowakowski, Lake Effect Producer/WUWM-Milwaukee Public Radio-May 2016 …While painting with watercolors and designing buildings might seem like very different pursuits, Kubala says they’re actually much more similar than you might imagine. “The practice of painting and doing architecture is almost the same. What we’ve found is that, in the case of painting, you’re faced with this white paper. And you have the ability, depending on how you organize different blobs of color, to bring a whole life and light to that piece of paper,” he says. “In [an] architectural sense, we use the same skills to create mass and space, or form and non-form, in a certain kind of geometry to create life from… from nothing. It’s like magical.” Tom’s paintings are displayed locally and regionally in galleries and in private, corporate, and public collections. He has presented lectures on watercolor painting at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, the League of Milwaukee Artists, and the Cedarburg Art Museum, and will occasionally teach a class in drawing and watercolor. He is a member of the Cedarburg Artists Guild. Visit his website: tomkubala.com or follow on Pinterest: pinterest.de/thoskubala/watercolors-tom-kubala