The two sets of artwork currently on exhibit in the Rosemary P. Miller Gallery at the John Waldron Arts Center, 122 S. Walnut St., don't appear to have much in common. One artist paints tranquil scenes of natural places around Bloomington. The other paints mystical, energetic scenes of angels and animals. \nThe two artists, Sara Hatch and Jane Jensen, are sisters. A reception on Friday announced their exhibit that will run until June 29. \n"I think that we inherited an interest in the arts, or at least something visual (from our parents)," Hatch said of herself and her sister. "My mother was musical and my dad owned a furniture store and did a lot of photography." \nAn interest in the arts isn't the only thing the two sisters have in common. Both are members of the Baha'i faith. Hatch said a great deal of her inspiration comes from her faith. \n"The teachings of the faith are a unifying thread in my art work that affects the intensity of colors, movement and space," Hatch said in her brochure. \nBoth artists are also residents of Bloomington who have traveled extensively. Hatch's work has been exhibited all around town, as well as throughout the Midwest and internationally in Seoul, Korea and Okinawa, Japan. \nJensen has traveled to the Bahamas and Panama, and paints places she has visited or lived in. Jensen's exhibit consists mostly of places around the IU campus such as the Sample Gates, Beck Chapel and IU's limestone gazebo. These scenes are illuminated with bright colors and light. \n"I love the immediacy of the media, the beautiful uncontrollable accidents, the brilliant color that I can achieve with this media," Jensen said in a press release.\nColor is also an important element of Hatch's work. The oranges, yellows and greens she uses, along with the flowing lines and intricate borders, make her paintings distinct. \n"I love color and design. I like to figure out how the border and the middle are going to integrate and become a composition that works together -- that's always a challenge," Hatch said.\nThe unique shape of the figures, often angels and dancers, are also unique to Hatch's work. \n"I try to show women that are free and joyful and happy," Hatch said. "I kind of emulate women. I try to suggest through my artwork the quality of women and men. \n"Women should have a primary role in what's happening in the world -- in a lot of countries they don't, they're suppressed."\nThe current exhibit announced at the reception also includes local artist Amanda Mathis. Her exhibit, which is running in the Waldron's Flashlight Gallery, includes acrylic paintings depicting nostalgic scenes of the 1950s and 60s and the Indiana countryside. \nMathis has been labeled a "primitive artist" because of the nature of her artwork, which includes figures that sometimes resemble cartoons and don't have faces. \n"When I thought about this (exhibit), I thought the primitive style with the 50s, 60s would just be really fun -- and that's what I like, I just like it really fun, and it turned out fun."\nPeople looking at the exhibit could be heard laughing while marveling at Mathis's work and remembering times past. Her works include references to TV shows, such as "American Bandstand" and "The Lone Ranger" along with musical groups from the 60s and 70s. \nShelley Fredrickson, a local artist who has traveled and done shows with Mathis, said "she goes to the beat of a different drummer." \n"She's such a joyful person, and this comes through in her work," Fredrickson said. \nMathis gets some of her inspiration from her travels. \n"I travel all around the country doing art fairs. Unless I'm doing a commissioned work everything's just out of my imagination. It just depends on what's happening the day that I'm painting in my mind."\nMathis also seems to be inspired by the time periods that she paints and people in her family. One work is a large collage of family snapshots and relics from her childhood.\nAlthough Mathis is a full-time artist, this is her first solo show in nearly five years. \n"This is a new beginning type situation for me, so I'm really excited about it."\nMathis also teaches at the John Waldron Arts Center. \n"I've always painted and had galleries," she said. "I've been blessed because it's a hard way to make a living, and I've been able to do it successfully"
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