Mary Kline Misol's The Courtship at the Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy -- April 28 through June 21.

Saturday, April 28, through Thursday, June 21

Artist Reception: Saturday, April 28, 4 p.m.

Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy, 2967 State Street, Bettendorf IA

From April 28 through June 21, the wonders of the great outdoors, and the creatures who make their homes there, will be celebrated in the latest exhibition at Bettendorf's Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy: An Intimate Encounter with Nature, featuring evocative paintings by Mary Kline Misol and expressive photographs by Larry Mendenhall.

With the artist based in Des Moines, Misol's imagery revolves around figurative subjects, compositions, botanicals, and landscapes, and she cites her chief inspirations as literature, myth, and poetry, with her botanicals including the indigenous flora and fauna that grow and thrive in her woods. As Misol writes in her artist statement at MaryKlineMisol.com: “In the quiet seclusion of my studio I have become familiar with aspects of myself that I cannot reach in any other way. Perhaps the dedication to my work has become in some sense a ritual of psychic renewal for me. Joseph Campbell, a great thinker of our time, has stated that as one ages one realizes the interference daily societal demands put upon our lives – demands which diffuse our sense of self. Thus an individual must find a quiet place, or a 'bliss-station,' in which there are no outside distractions. My time spent in the studio is this sort of experience for me.”

Larry Mendenhall's Silver Leaves #6

A former newspaper photographer and editor, Altoona, Iowa's Mendenhall began concentrating on landscape photography in the late '90s and initiated Quiet Places Photography in 2003. He uses line, pattern, texture, and light to guide the viewer through his nature and landscape images, and in the Intimate Encounter exhibition, he will be showing pieces from his “Expressive Strokes” collection, examples of which can be found at LarryMendenhall.zenfolio.com. A technique borrowed from pencil drawing, “expressive stroke” is defined as a line that varies in width, angle, and pressure, and creates a flow that invites viewers to truly experience photographs rather than just casually observe them. Expressive strokes are abundant in nature and often the subject of Mendenhall's black-and-white photography, which can be found in the permanent collections at Mary Greeley Hospital, the Municipal Fire and Police Retirement System of Iowa, and the University of Iowa Library.

An opening reception for An Intimate Encounter with Nature will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on April 28, and regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free, and more information on the venu's exhibits, events, and classes in available by calling (563)508-4630 or visiting BereskinArtGallery.com.

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