By Public Works Art Center for The Island Connection
Public Works Art Center, a non-profit community art center in Historic Downtown Summerville, is showcasing Charleston-based artist Anita Laudone Harley’s exhibits at the West Gallery through July 23. Harley has lived full time on Kiawah for 9 years and is a member of both the Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island Artist Guilds. The Exhibition encompasses five series of paintings in watermedia featuring people. Works from Harley’s “State of Grace,” “Patterns of Life,” “And a Good Time It Was,” “Between the Lines” and “Together, We” series will be on display in the West Gallery during this time. According to Harley, “These are not portraits, but rather an attempt to record the inner world of the individuals as etched in their faces and embodied in their gestures. By ‘looking hard’ we may glimpse where they have been and, with the young, what may be yet to come.” Supplementary programming will accompany this exhibition including portrait painting and photographing events and a pet portrait collaboration event with Dorchester Paws and Dorchester County library to draw attention to adoptable animals. A highly regarded watercolorist, Harley works figuratively with shapes and spots of color in the tradition of Bonnard, Vuillard and Sargent. In that way she endeavors to integrate the decorative with the authority of human emotion. The subtlety of her watercolor draws the viewer in close while the bold, flat patterning startles in its abstraction. The result is at once intimate and fragile yet powerful and contemporary. In capturing the humor, the joy, the travail, the melancholy – the spectrum of our condition –the viewer is asked to consider that, while we are alone, we are profoundly connected to each other by experience and empathy.