“When I’m working, I’ve noticed that I get angelic assistance, and I feel like heaven comes into my house.”
The Emporia Arts Council will celebrate the second anniversary of the opening of its facilities at 1 p.m. Jan. 26. The event will be commemorated with a showcase of art from local artist Charlotte Nickel. Nickel graduated from Emporia State in 1987 with a master’s degree in painting and currently has several works on permanent display at the Starbucks in Emporia, 2916 Eaglecrest Dr.
Melissa Windsor, executive director for EAC, said they are looking forward to having Nickel’s work to display for the upcoming event.
“Charlotte has been an artist in our community for a number of years and has been part of the art center’s gallery programs a number of times, so we are happy to show her work,” Windsor said. “We felt like it would be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our birthday with Charlotte’s work.”
The show is Nickel’s second for EAC – her first was held in the building’s previous location in 1999. Nickel said when the building opened last year with a show by Richard Slimon, former Emporia State professor, the new space helped inspire her most recent show. Unlike her previous show, which included many works of still life, Nickel said this show consists of mostly abstract work, which she began painting after a bout with cancer in 2005.
The title of Nickel’s show, “The Language of Heaven,” was inspired by the feelings she gets when she paints.
“In the past year, when I’m working, I’ve noticed that I get angelic assistance, and I feel like heaven comes into my house,” Nickel said.
Nickel said that Slimon, under whom she studied for her undergraduate and graduate degrees, along with her grandfather, a Russian immigrant who created paper cutouts of animals, were two sources of inspiration for the exhibit. She plans to include 16 paintings in the show, many of which will be for sale, with prices ranging from $300 to over $2,000. Nickel said she has had one of her pieces, “Traveling Companion,” for over 28 years.
Matt Hoelscher, senior painting major, said Nickel’s work has a lot of layer and depth in parts, but the view of the paintings change when viewed as whole pieces.
“I wonder what her motives were, what inspired her,” Hoelscher said. “They’re pretty straightforward pieces.”
Windsor said EAC encourages ESU students and community members to attend the gallery opening. The event is free and open to the public. The show itself will run through March 8, and members of the public are welcome to come see the works between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.