Locals fall into winter season at local art exhibit

Exeter Art Gallery and Museum Association invites residents to enjoy various types of seasonal art at “Falling into Winter” exhibit

EXETER – Locals can immerse themselves in seasonal and holiday ambience by appreciating different art forms at Exeter’s art gallery, which are made to capture the essence of the approaching fall and winter seasons.

The Exeter Art Gallery and Museum Association announced a celebration of the official opening for its seasonal exhibit “Falling into Winter” on Sunday, Oct. 9 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery will feature artists from across the Central Valley and the central coast. The gallery’s theme is based around the fall and winter season and was inspired by the gallery’s art selection director Joan Constable’s love for the fall season.

“A lot of artists paint in that direction [of fall inspired art] already, and you give them a theme and they go for it,” Constable said. “The winter ones I was kind of weary that I wasn’t going to get a whole lot, but I did. I filled up the whole other side of the gallery.”

The exhibit will feature paintings, digital art, glass, metal and wood sculptures and more. According to Dwight Miller, president of the Exeter Art Gallery and Museum Association, some of the artists who submitted their work to the gallery will be at the opening event, either themselves or with their families.

Artists that are featured in the exhibit include Denise Albright and Shirley Crowe of Exeter; Beckie Ballew Nava, Toni Best, Betty Burke and Melinda Scott of Visalia; Christy Stapleton of Tulare; William Bishop, Joy Collier and Bethany Phillips of Porterville; Joy Collier and Joy Harvey of Springville; Jana Botkin of Three Rivers; Myrna Axt, Amy Morgan and James A. Smith of Fresno; Jeanette Richardson of Pine Mountain and Bakersfield; Larry LeBrane and Flo Bartel of Los Osos; Lesli Pepper of Caruthers; and former Exeter resident Marty Weekly of Morro Bay. 

At the exhibit, the art pieces will be judged by an unspecified associate of the museum based on how well the art fits the theme of the gallery. The prizes will be ribbons and cash rewards, which will be distributed based on the best submission for fall, winter and for the overall theme encompassing both seasons unless stated otherwise by the judge, according to Constable. Constable said the judge for the contest is a local Visalian who was chosen based on his background in art and his current position as an art marketer.

Food will be donated for the event from Hometown Emporium for participants to enjoy and beverages like wine, iced tea and water will be offered. There is also the possibility of cider being served at the event to further enhance the fall experience, according to Constable.

The exhibit’s fall and winter gallery began Oct. 1 and will continue until Dec. 31. According to the gallery’s website, the theme for the exhibit captures the feeling of cold days, falling leaves and Hygge, which is a Danish and Norwegian word that describes the feeling of being cozy and comfortable. The theme then continues into the Christmas holiday feeling of snow, skiing and hot cocoa with peppermint sticks.

According to Miller, the museum and art gallery would like to be a big asset for the community of Exeter and best represent the small town by becoming a place of interest for valley travelers.

“We want to be a place where people who stay in Airbnbs on their way to the Sequoias to stop by and check out the local art scene,” Miller said. “We want to pick up on the ‘city of murals’ that [Exeter has] become and enhance that.”

The Exeter Art Gallery and Museum Association’s museum section is still closed for construction purposes. According to Constable, the museum’s refurbishment should continue until some time in the beginning of next year.

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