Back in the Pink: Exhibit opens with social distancing guidelines to keep art lovers healthy

click to enlarge "Only for a Moment" by Aaron Johnson Gouache.
"Only for a Moment" by Aaron Johnson Gouache.

By JILL WILSON

for Inland 360

Amid global uncertainty and dividing narratives, Ellen Vieth, artist and owner of the Little Pink House Gallery in Genesee, wants to provide a safe opportunity for people to enjoy beautiful art under a theme which connects everyone: change.

Vieth, who converted a building behind her Genesee home into a pop-up art gallery in 2016, will open its doors Saturday for an exhibit titled “Ephemeral.”

“The nature of ephemerality really boils down to time,” said Vieth. “This show started out with the idea of capturing some moment in nature. To observe and appreciate the moment, I think we are all trying to do that day to day now.”

The exhibit originally was scheduled to open in March but was postponed because of COVID-19 shutdowns. Upon opening, the gallery will follow social distancing guidelines. Only three people will be allowed in the building at a time, and masks are required inside.

“Museum shows, gallery shows, art fairs – these are all getting canceled. People are surviving on the fact that they can still be creative, but, at the same time, you need money to pay the rent. I feel really fortunate to be in a position where I can support other artists. I’ve always felt that art is essential, and I know for a fact that (my gallery) is way safer than any grocery store right now.”

“Ephemeral” will include new work by ceramicists Casey Doyle, Jill Birshbach and Melissa Mytty; the woven artistry of Melody Eckroth, who creates baskets from materials collected near her Santa, Idaho, home; Jeanne Wallace’s watercolor studies of a local heron community at Moscow’s Hordemann Pond; new sculptures from Stacy Isenbarger; wood works from Claudia Ross-Kuhn and Noah Schuerman; mixed media work by Courtney Hahn; and work from nationally recognized plein-air painter Aaron Johnson. All artists are from this region except for Birshbach, Mytty and Hahn, who live in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Indiana, respectively.

“The artists that I represent are world-class artists. It’s really wonderful fine art.”

Vieth, who is also a floral designer and considers herself a “fierce gardener,” has surrounded the gallery with a garden complete with chairs and a lily pond for patrons to enjoy if they need to wait to enter the gallery.

“Beauty and ephemerality are hard to ignore in a garden,” she said.

Veith plans to showcase works sporadically throughout the year, which could be considered reminiscent of one quality that is not ephemeral: the creative impulse.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: “Ephemeral,” works by 11 artists.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every subsequent Saturday through June 13.

WHERE: Little Pink House Gallery, behind the pink house at 157 N. Elm St., Genesee.

COST: Free.

OF NOTE: No more than three people permitted indoors at a time. Masks are required indoors. Masks are optional in the garden. Social distancing guidelines will be respected throughout the gallery and garden.

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