JCA to hold ArtTalk, reception Thursday

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Pike County community will have an opportunity Thursday to have an “up close and personal” art talk with three outstanding artists from different backgrounds and with different artistic styles.

The Johnson Center for the Arts will host an ArtTalk and Artists’ Reception featuring Elana Hagler of Pike Road,  Debra Riffe  of Birmingham and Belinda Harrison of Troy from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday. The public is invited .

“The ArtTalk and Artists’ Reception will be a chance to meet the artists and walk the galleries with them and hear the stories of their artistic journeys and the inspiration for their work,” said Vicki Pritchett, JCA executive director. “Elana Hagler, whose work is in the Gibson Gallery, is a working artist and teaches art in Montgomery. Her paintings are exquisite.”

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Hagler was born in Israel and came to the United States with her grandparents as a child, Pritchett said.

“Her parents died early on and she lived with her grandparents who were survivors of the Holocaust,” Pritchett said. “She went back to Israel to study art. Many of her charcoals are products of her studies in Israel. She has studied at the Jerusalem Studio School and in Umbria, Italy. Much of her work is reflective of her studies and her travels.

“One of her oil paintings is of a blue doll. The story of that painting is inspirational and I’m sure she will be willing to share the story at Thursday’s ArtTalk.”

Hagler’s ArtTalk will be enhanced with slides and she will take questions from the audience.

“Elana’s work is not only incredibly artistic, it shares the story of her family and its faith,” Pritchett said.

Debra Riffe’s exhibit, titled “i learnt to sing a glad new song” features linoleum block relief prints that are descriptive in picture and in word.

“Debra is a printmaker and artist,” Pritchett said. “Her work is captivating. It’s fun. It’s inspiring and it speaks to you.”

Even as  a fulltime employee with the City of Birmingham, Riffe finds time to practice her art.

“Her studio is the spare bedroom in her home and the work she does there is amazing.”

For Trojan Belinda Harrison, this is her first exhibit, her first ArtTalk and her first artist’s reception.

“We are excited to have Belinda’s artwork featured at the Johnson Center,” Pritchett said. “She was studying art at Troy University but stepped away to begin a family. When, she started selling her artwork online, she realized people appreciated her talent as do we at the Johnson Center. We are glad to contribute in some small way to getting Belinda’s work before the public.”

The ArtTalk and artists’ reception is open to the public and everyone is invited.