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Sheboygan artists Patty Aker and Kay Jelinek will offer a colorful December exhibit titled “Pushing Boundaries” at Inspiration Studios, 1500 S. 73rd St., West Allis.

An opening reception with both artists is scheduled 2-5 p.m.Sunday, Dec. 11. The reception will be free to the public and light refreshments will be served.

The artists exhibits will be on display Dec. 7-Jan. 2. Two original works of art will be raffled off during the exhibit.

Aker’s paintings are created on silk fabric while Jelinek’s abstract pieces are made of acrylic on canvas. Both are filled with vibrant colors and dramatic composition.

Aker’s paintings on silk are the result of an original baptismal banner she created years ago for her church.

“The project took many months of trial and error," Aker said. "The experience was so wonderful and addictive that it has spurred a cottage business venture, Gaelic Sands, and has led to many exhibitions throughout Wisconsin.”

Simple, dramatic

Aker’s simple, modern and dramatic compositions, reflect on nature’s tessellations. She designs abstracts with an organic slant. Working in many layers of paint, resists and employing different techniques, she is able to build on texture.

The paints are often uncontrollable upon touching the silk and take on a life of their own, swirling, pushing, and merging into contortions of vibrant color. The dye flow is tamed by various methods and the result is always a visual, textural surprise, belying the simplicity of her craft. Occasionally, a written word or a favorite poem will complete a piece.

Aker explains, “My love of fashion and sewing naturally draws me to fiber. Silk is my canvas; it is a very forgiving medium. Colors evolve intensely to produce the drama I want in the fabric. Painting and sharing art experiences, learning new techniques and teaching silk painting workshops are a crucial part of my world.”

In January 2009, Aker trained as a docent at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, where she enjoys offering docent workshops for children of all ages. Besides painting silk wall-hangings and canvases, Aker creates art on silk scarves.

Art teacher

Kay Jelinek’s art teaching career started in Milton and Monroe, but most of her 30 years were spent teaching art in Janesville.

“When I was growing up, there was no art offered in our school,” Jelinek said. “It has been an aim of mine to help educate and expose as many people to art as possible, since it has become so very important in my life.

"In addition to teaching, creating art has always been one of my priorities.”

After retirement, Jelinek moved from Janesville to Sheboygan, where she met several artists

“I think Patty and I were drawn together because of our bright use of color, love of nature and feelings about the art spirit,” says Jelinek. “We have shown in numerous shows together as our art enhances each others’ work.

"Patty’s pieces are bright on silk with some mixed media, and mine are colorful mixed-media pieces that often include collage done with acrylic/alcohol inks and lots of bits and pieces.”

Excitment

“My art reflects the excitement of creating,” says Jelinek. “There’s play between the piece being worked on and the way I respond directly to it.

"I enjoy bringing forth the properties of the medium as I create abstracted subject matter, often based on many combined observations and feelings. Creating and sharing art and ideas makes life a joy.”

Aker adds, “Experimentation is endless and after a decade plus of playing and practice, I am still thrilled at every unexpected image or design.”

More details about this exhibit are available on the Inspiration Studios website: www.inspirationstudiosgallery.com.

Contributed by Erico Ortiz, founder of Inspiration Studios

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