GAC exhibits art by Russia native

Staff report

SIDNEY — Gateway Arts Council, 216 N. Miami Ave., has opened an exhibit of art by Russia native Chloe McEldowney, now of Peoria, Illinois.

The exhibit will run through Nov. 5. Exhibit hours are weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

“My art seeks to make manifest a collection of stories,” McEldowney said. “These stories are what have built my family over the years. Growing up, my family has continually invited strangers — primarily young mothers and children — into our home to offer them whatever help and support they may need. In the process, many of them become family to us. They are named brothers and sisters. Some will be raised here, some leave all too soon. Contact is kept with those who move out, and a duty and love for them develops akin to what many feel for their own blood relationships. That background has bred in me a desire to explore these familial relationships with my art. I wish to express the nature of this type of family: a family defined by the needs of those who become its members and nothing else.

“Conventional realism is not the objective of my painting. My paintings are intended as character studies. Without the character of the person being painted, and a narrative behind that character, the most realistic image would still feel like an empty husk. With any subject I paint, I aim first to forge a relationship with that person; in doing this I garner the tools to paint the person behind the visage.”

McEldowney is an artist in residence and printmaking instructor at the Prairie Center of the Arts in Peoria, Illinois. She has been included in exhibitions across the country, ranging from California to Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Dayton. She was awarded a Yeck College Artist Fellowship at the Dayton Art Institute. During her senior year, McEldowney was a finalist in the Excellence in Visual Arts Awards by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio. Upon graduation from the University of Dayton, she was awarded the Mary Ann Dunsky Visual Arts Award and the Gordon Richardson Artist Scholarship.

For information, call 498-2787.

Staff report