On view now through August 2 at the Alliance for the Arts is the 27th Annual All Florida Juried Show. Judged by new Baker Museum Curator Frank Verpoorten, third place went to Megan Kissinger for her acrylic painting In Singing, Not to Sing – The Ovenbird.
Kissinger was actually one of only two artists to have three submissions juried into this year’s show, joining Best of Show Laura Waller in accomplishing that feat. Given that Verpoorten only accepted 52 works for the exhibition, Kissinger and Waller represent more than 10 percent of the entire exhibition,
Megan is a realist, and In Singing, Not to Sing is a stunning example of the painstaking precision, complexity and adept modelling for which she is known both locally and around the country. The latter reflects her classical training, which starts with a charcoal drawing that she under-paints in a wash of complimentary color before beginning the final painting. “I like to put the paint on many thin layers, sometimes hundreds, using both glazes and scrubbed in paint to get the feeling of light and shadow,” Megan writes on her website. “While I sketch and take photographs of my subject matter, I prefer to paint in my studio so that the light is consistent and I can take lots of time to really think about the piece.”
Kissinger loves to get up close to wildlife that normally is not readily accessible to humans, like birds and butterflies. Thus, In Singing, Not to Sing and Oxbow Osprey Morning, she takes viewers deep inside the Everglades and to a Caloosahatchee oxbow island upriver near the town of Alva.
“I’ve always loved these river islands because they are so much a part of Old Florida,” Megan remarks. “When you kayak around them, you still see how the river looked when it was allowed to make its own decisions on where it wanted to go. The sabal palms and oak trees create such a wonderful contrast with each other. As an artist, painting that combination, you can’t beat the shadow play that can happen at any time of the day. And the habitat on the oxbow islands seems to stay more stable without all the invasive non-native plants so they are also great places for rookeries and wildlife.”
Megan is no stranger to the Alliance for the Arts. Not only did she receive a Juror’s Choice award in last year’s All Florida Juried Exhibition, Megan has also taught beginning drawing and other classes at the Alliance as well. In addition to numerous group exhibitions, Megan has enjoyed a number of solo shows, including
- Of Water—Shining: The Art of Megan Kissinger, The Museum of the Everglades, Everglades City, Florida, January, 2013;
- Edison’s Garden Illustrated, Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers, Florida, Fall 2010-Spring 2012;
- Natives & Other Endangered Species, Recent Works by Megan Kissinger, WildChild Art Gallery, Matlacha, Florida, 2011;
- A Living Splendor—Florida’s Wildlife Illustrated, one-person show, Ave Maria University Canizaro Library, Naples, Florida, September 2010; and
- The Art of Megan Kissinger, Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center, one-person show, Fort Myers, Florida, May 2009.
The 27th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition hangs in the main gallery of the Alliance for the Arts through August 2. Drop in and take a look. The show contains 52 strong compositions by some of the most talented emerging and mid-career artists working today in the State of Florida.
The Alliance for the Arts proudly supports artists and arts organizations in our area as the state designated Local Arts Agency for Lee County. The Alliance for the Arts galleries and gift shop are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1:00 on Saturdays.
The Alliance is located at 10091 McGregor Boulevard, just south of Colonial Boulevard. To become a member, please visit http://www.artinlee.org or telephone 239-939-2787.