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Washing away rainy day blues

July 23, 2009 - Diane Speer
It's a dreary day here in Alpena with some long needed rain currently falling. My natural tendency on days like these is to curl up at home on my comfy couch with a good book.

But duty calls, and so I spent the bulk of my morning in the newspaper office getting copy and photos ready for the next day's Lifestyles page. That task accomplished, I decided early afternoon to dodge the incessant rain drops and head out to the Besser Museum, where two new art exhibits opened over the weekend. There's nothing like some beautiful art to wash away the rainy day blues!

Both exhibits feature watercolor artists. Showing in the front gallery is one put together by former Alpena resident Noel Skiba. Hers is particularly interesting because not only does it highlight her vibrantly-hued work, but also that of three generations of her family, thereby illustrating the artistic thread that has run through the family from her grandfather to her mother to herself and finally, to her young son.

In the second gallery is a large body of wonderfully executed watercolors by Carol LaChiusa of Grosse Pointe Farms. Highly accomplished and recognized as a watercolorist, LaChiusa chose a wide variety of subjects to paint from an old McCormick tractor and the south rim of the Grand Canyon to several charming cottage scenes. My favorite works of hers, however, were from a series called "Remembering Mama." Each painting in that series harkens back to an earlier era and depicts the artist's mother doing solitary, everyday tasks like shelling peas or hanging clothes outside to dry, but with a sense of grace and ease.

No, being at the Besser Museum didn't automatically make the weather improve, but seeing both new exhibits sure did improve my outlook on the day and chase away the rainy day blues! Look for a story featuring both artists next week on the Lifestyles page.

 
 

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