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Ft. Madison Area Arts Association (FMAAA) lures an Oregon, Wisconsin artist into the territory. Gwen Fabert Maitzen delivers three series examples of her signature style that are quite provocative to the eye and mind. A reception for Gwen will occur on November 13th from 5:00-7:00pm. Gwen will give a gallery talk regarding her work shortly after 6:00pm. She has her Masters in Fine Arts from Southern Illinois in Carbondale and taught high school art for decades, since retiring to serve as elected officer on her local school Board of Directors. Also of note Gwen is an Angoran goat herdress. Two Rivers Insurance Services are the sponsor for the exhibition.

“The art shown here represents many years of work. The collages are made from a variety of materials: recycled watercolors; rubber stamps; pen; pencil; color pencils; paint; ink cut outs from magazines, old books, maps, etc…. They just kind of happen - creating a dialogue or poem of what I hear, think, visualize or believe. They seem to be a collaborative process which means, I have an idea but I do not know what the end result will be thus I am never bored by my process. The work in the small frames were a personal assignment that started out as an extension of telephone and or meeting doodles. The project developed into this large series which had only two criteria: 1. The artwork had to be on a three inch by three inch yellow Post-It Note and 2. I could do anything I wanted using drawing, ink, mixed media, acrylic, watercolor, computer, etc. There were no artistic limitations. It turned into a fun exercise in creativity and bit of a journal. For inspiration I thought of things that I liked such as birds, butterflies, dogs, nests, friends, word plays, poetry etc. I also explored fears and my depression…. our family was going through a difficult time and it helped to focus on these little sheets of paper. I also have a pile of “rejected” work (not enough frames) and unfinished work that I continue to work on. The paintings in the gold frames were an exercise in composition, drawing and classical painting. I made photographic small collages from a variety of sources and carefully rendered the restructured images. They are completed in gouache, an opaque watercolor, and each one except the first, has a butterfly or moth included into the image. It was a nice device to unify the series. They all, of course, have meaning to me and have the over all theme of history and environment. I enjoyed working on them because they satisfied my desire to constantly hone my craft. The most recent series of work are the boxes. I have always loved boxes - the act of just opening them goes back into my childhood. The four represented in this exhibit are explorations of mixed media and somewhat lighthearted. My interest in mix media comes from my teaching days. I taught so many different media that who could choose only one! Why limit the self in terms of creativity? The act of art making is something that I need to do and also knew this at a young age. As I look back on the years, I am glad to have taught art and to have continually been able to make art. To explore the world and self and then translate those experiences and thoughts onto paper or canvas makes me quite content.” Gwen Fabert Maitzen.