Chase away the blahs with local art

By: Paul Apfel, Special to The News Messenger
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Banish the blahs and put some art in your 2011 life. It’s a great way to start the new year. Here in Lincoln, we have several options for you, including Lincoln Arts, The Place!, Lincoln Hills Art Association and the new Lincoln Hills Painter’s Club. Lincoln Arts is kicking off its ambitious programming year with metal artist Jennifer Johnson in a gallery show, “Women Who Weld,” according to Lincoln Arts Executive Director Claudia Renati. The artists’ reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, at the 580 Sixth St. gallery. The show continues through Feb. 14. Celebrating 25 years of service to Lincoln residents, Lincoln Arts will host an anniversary mixer that is open to the public at the gallery on Thursday, Feb. 10. Members get in free while nonmembers will pay $6 and couples $10. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Contact Lincoln Arts for more details. Lincoln Arts has also scheduled a benefit exhibit during March, benefiting local community nonprofits. Artists will donate 5 percent of their sales price with a matching contribution from Lincoln Arts, according to Renati. Beneficiaries include Ride to Walk, the Carnegie Library, Lighthouse and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The Place! at 505 G St., at the corner of Fifth and G Street, opened its “Click” show on Jan. 12 featuring photographic art. The opening reception on Saturday, held in conjunction with Roseville’s 3d Saturday Art Walk, was, according to partner Bonnie Dunlap, a huge success with more than 70 patrons filling the shop. The show continues through Feb. 27. To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of The Place!’s closing are greatly exaggerated. The partners are on record with a January 2011 letter sent to their customers and supporters informing them that they feel the gift shop and gallery is “…now poised to move to a new level.” Partner Kathy Dorsey notes their advisors have informed them that the shop will need “greater expertise and investments of time and energy than the current partners have available to share.” So the partners are examining options and they’re looking for input. The Place! has been a refreshing addition to Lincoln’s art scene for a little over a year, showcasing local artists and providing buying opportunities for art patrons. And I applaud the partners for their candor and willingness to seek support and opinions from their public. So, if you have opinions, solutions or recommendations for the partners to consider, now is your chance. Lincoln Hills artists are gearing up for their eighth annual Fine Arts Show and Sale to be held in the Orchard Creek Lodge main ballroom on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and Feb. 26. According to the art group’s Loraine Markey, art works on display and for sale will include acrylics, watercolors, pastels and oil paintings plus fine art photography, sculpture and three-dimensional medias. Admission is free and doors open at 9 a.m. on both display days. The Orchard Creek Lodge is at 965 Orchard Creek Lane in Lincoln Hills. Look for a new painters group in Lincoln Hills in the near future. The Lincoln Hills Painters Club is in their final organizational stages, awaiting formal approval from the Sun City Lincoln Hills board of directors. That approval is expected at their next meeting on Jan. 27. Paul Apfel writes on art in and around Lincoln. Contact him at