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JCA hosts Garst Art

Riding down a long and winding dirt road is right up the alley of Steve and Deb Garst.

Steve might be looking to one side and Deb to the other. But what they both see is the “what” in a piece of art.

Steve and Deb are artists who work from their Dog House Studio in Blue Ridge, Alabama.

They have been partners in life and as artists since 2004. They paint individually and as one.

The Johnson Center for the Arts is proud to present Garst Art by Deb and Steve Garst “now showing” with the opening reception for the artists from, 4 until 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Everyone is invited to join us for the artists’ reception and meet Deb and Steve and learn more about them and their amazing artwork and also enjoy visiting with friends,” said Brenda Campbell, Johnson Center for the Arts director.

The Garsts are leading a storybook life.

Their personal lives and their professional lives are one and the same.

They both quickly agree that it was love at first sight.

But it was a first sighting that almost didn’t happen.

If Steve had stayed home rather than go to an art guild meeting, he would have not met the love of his life nor she of hers.

They both smile as they tell the story of how they met and how their lives as artists complement and complete each other.

“We both love the water and the outdoors,” Steve said. “We have a great appreciation of nature and, through our art, we have contributed to conservation and the preservation of natural habitat.”

Deb said a plus of being together in the same household is that they “speak the same language.”

“We share ideas and we share inspiration,” she said. “One of us will start a sentence and the other will finish it. We love what we do and we love sharing it with the world.”

And, share is what they love to do, with each other and the world.

Steve creates likenesses so real it seems as if his “people” could speak and tell their own stories. Deb’s work is most often abstract with a focus of detailed imagery. Other times, she will say, “I can’t do anything with this” and her work will become the background for his work.

Individually or collectively, the Garsts are amazing artists and equally amazing storytellers.

“They have an entertaining story for each of their paintings,” Campbell said. “We invite everyone to join us Saturday from 4 until 6:30 p.m. for the artists’ reception for Deb and Steve Garst. Refreshments will be served and it will be a very entertaining and enlightening evening of art and stories.”