Bridgeview Artists of Anoka County exhibit their works this month at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts in a show titled “Portraits.” The show runs from Nov. 20 to 27. An artists reception will be held Nov. 20, from 3 to 6 p.m.
The exhibit, featuring about 20 artists, later moves to Sandhill Center for the Arts in Bethel for a second show Nov. 29 through Dec. 31. A reception will be held Nov. 29, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to the free events.
Bridgeview’s Community Support Program comes under the umbrella of Fridley-based Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health and Well-Being and serves people living with a serious and persistent mental illness.
“Wait until you see what they’ve done,” Helen Hartley, Bridgeview Artists art coordinator, said about the artwork in the exhibit. “It’s amazing!”
The artists have chosen to create portraits of such greats as President John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Michelle Obama and Bill Gates, to name a few. Some chose to draw or paint self-portraits.
Bridgeview Artists, for the last six months, have studied portrait work with three goals in mind. To improve their artistic skills, to work in classes taught by professional artists and to exhibit their artwork in the community. The classes were funded by a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Art Council.
“We couldn’t have had a better team,” Hartley said. “Each professional artist brought new ideas to this study for the Bridgeview Artists, stretching the artists with new techniques, making this a proud and awesome exhibit.”
Professional artists who worked with the group are: Matt Linz of St. Paul, Cherene Bebeau of Princeton, Shelley Holl of Edina and Laura Irwin Schack of Cedar.
They taught their pupils how to use a shortened fine point brush to sketch on painted canvas, how to hide portraits in backgrounds and new ways to use words in self-portraits. They also learned about mosaics and worked with a variety of media, including reintroducing pastels.
Hartley estimates 80 pieces will be on exhibit at Banfill and about 120 at Sandhill.
“I’m very proud of this group,” Hartley said. “They’ve made a name for themselves,” she said about the Bridgeview Artists.