Art project gives ‘people an ownership piece’


JASPER — Community members will have a chance to put their mark on the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center through art.

Photo provided
These panels are examples of the size of the artwork that will be created by the public to form a much larger piece.

Local artists Romy Kissel and Clare Bies of Romy and Clare Designs have designed a community art piece they will donate to the Jasper Public Library once the cultural center is complete. The Thyen-Clark Cultural Center will bring the library and the Jasper Community Arts Commission under the same roof downtown at the corner of Third and Mill streets.

The piece — a colorful painting of a gardenscape — will get started at The Beehive, the annual art market Kissel and Bies hold at their studio at 4409 N. Portersville Road, Jasper. This year’s market is Oct. 11-12.

“There’s no skill involved,” said Linda Kahle, a Jasper Community Arts Commission board member helping organize the project. “Just painting a solid piece, really.”

The piece will begin with community members of all ages and abilities painting a 2-foot-by-2-foot square on a series of panels totalling 200 square feet. The end result of that stage will be a brightly colored patchwork background. The second stage will also be done by community members who will use stencils to add different shapes to the background such as bees and flowers. Bies, Kissel and a team of volunteers will finish the piece by drawing on the floral design that will be in the foreground and painting the background white. The end result will be a brightly colored floral design on a white background. The process is called reverse painting.

The completed piece will fill the wall above the double staircase that leads to the second level of the library, and will be a focal point for that half of the cultural center. No matter what door to the library patrons use, they will be able to see the piece, library director Christine Golden said.

“This is something even going back to the referendum,” Golden said. “[We wanted] to give people an ownership piece.”

The library had to place a property tax referendum on the ballot in 2016 to approve funding for their portion of the cultural center.

Bies said she and Kissel chose this particular project because it’s simple enough that anyone can participate, but will end up looking “perfect.” The garden theme will fit with the overall interior design theme for the cultures center: nature plus industry.

Anyone wishing to participate in the art piece should arrive early to the Beehive. Bies expects the project to take both days, but that’s not a guarantee. The Facebook event for the project has already had a lot of interest.

The Beehive will also include a T-shirt sale that features part of the art piece, a concert by local musician Debbie Schuetter on Friday evening, and an arts market featuring several local artists. Proceeds from the event usually go to a local charity, but this year the proceeds will go to cover the cost of materials for the art piece. You can find more information about the project on Facebook.

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