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MoonTree Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. 

MoonTree Studios invites you to meet the artist at the opening reception for Finding the Light (and the Shadows) to be held in the gallery on Saturday, April 22, 2017; 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT. The featured artist is South Bend watercolorist Daniel J. Slattery.

Slattery uses control and detail to capture dramatic effects of light and color in his watercolor work. His artwork has included portraits, landscapes and seascapes, as well as book and magazine illustration. Slattery has taught watercolor at the South Bend Museum of Art, the Buchanan Art Center, and MoonTree Studios. He is a member of the St. Joe Valley Watercolor Society and past President of Northern Indiana Artists, Inc. Slattery has served on the Boards of Directors of both organizations.

About Finding the Light (and the Shadows), Slattery says, “The most compelling element in any painting I attempt is the dramatic effect of light and shadow. Contrast always plays a large role in shaping my approach to a subject. In recent years, dramatic low light scenes which evoke strong moods and memories have come to the forefront. In each case, light, shadow, and atmosphere play a prominent role in preserving in paint a definite time, place, and emotion. Using careful control to depict details of light and shadow, I try to create scenes that appear so real that the viewer feels that it would be possible to step into the painting.”

MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Groups are welcome. Please call in advance for an appointment at times other than these. Closing day for Finding the Light (and the Shadows) will be May 26, 2017.

Michael and Darcee Thoren of Petersburg, Indiana, make art inspired by the natural world. Michael’s expression takes the form of wheel-thrown pottery with raku finishing. Darcee’s work is multi-media. Come and see why they say that art has enriched and expanded their world, when Down to Earth opens on Saturday, March 11, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST at MoonTree Gallery.

The artists welcome the opportunity to personally tell you more about their creative endeavors. They chose to call the show Down to Earth because in their minds, that title encompasses the interests and beliefs that have provided the foundation for their art. “Making art has greatly enriched our lives,” Michael began. Darcee nodded, “We have met many kind and interesting people and visited places that we might have otherwise never seen. We have learned so much about ourselves in the process. Art has enriched and expanded our world.”

The art that the Thorens each make came about as a result of their shared interest in the natural world. The multi-media pieces that Darcee creates are based on a love of color, texture, and pattern. She feels a deep desire to express the personality and spirit of the creatures and landscapes of our planet. Michael’s raku pottery is the result of his combined interests, Art and Science. Michael’s wheel-thrown clay pieces are truly born of fire: natural materials such as dry leaves, straw, pine needles, and even horse hair contribute to the one-of-a-kind nature of every piece. By literally getting Down to Earth, the Thorens follow their innate curiosity to create art that reflects passion for the world and its inhabitants.

Michael and Darcee Thoren embody the mission of MoonTree Studios. They explained, “Our journey started with us carving out some time and space in order to explore the possibilities. So many people are drawn to the idea of manifesting their own unique expressions of creativity, but often that’s where it ends. We have discovered that the struggle is in believing that we have the right to make art…the right to take the time to sit down, think, and explore. Making art is neither a lofty, rarified purpose nor a frivolous endeavor. It is Down to Earth. It is a practical and realistic activity that we can all do. It's an opportunity to settle ourselves, to consider our lives, to express our thoughts and feelings, and to connect with others. We are dedicating this show to Shirley Hume (Darcee's mother) who has encouraged all of our family's artistic endeavors whether it be writing, painting, drawing, sculpting, or raku pottery. She's always said, "You'll never know unless you try." In that spirit, we hope that sharing our artwork encourages others to express their unique creativity and to put it out into the world. ”

Michael and Darcee Thoren’s 3D artwork, Down to Earth, will be on display at MoonTree Gallery from March 11 through April 7, 2017. MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST during winter. Call MoonTree Studios at (574) 935-1712 for group tour arrangements, or for an appointment at times other than these. Closing day for Down to Earth will be Friday, April 7, 2017.

The beauty and precision of Nordic, stranded knitting has become Laura Ricketts’ passion. Get a glimpse into why the handcrafts of Scandinavia’s nomadic peoples, the Sámi, have been such an inspiration in her life when In The Loop opens on Saturday, January 21, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST at MoonTree Gallery.

Ricketts is a knitter, knitwear designer, teacher and author. Most recently she has shared her talents as a TV show host on In the Loop with Laura, a regional cable show. A history teacher by profession with a master's degree in education, Ricketts has combined a love for history, literature and textiles in her handcraft teaching.

“My mom taught me how to knit and purl when I was young, but it was only when I was in college that I bought yarn for a project and knit from a pattern,” Ricketts explains. “I've really grown in my knitting from similarly minded friends and from online communities like Ravelry.”

“I started designing my own patterns a few years ago, and publishing in magazines shortly after that. Many of my patterns are driven by historical stories and textiles. I've designed lace inspired by the oldest known bra, and sweaters from those worn by royalty as they fled the Nazis in 1940. My favorite pieces to play with, however, are mittens! Mittens are small, but can easily show off a color or design, or accessorize a plain coat.”

Some of Ricketts’ literature-inspired patterns have appeared in Cooperative Press’ Defarge book series. Inspired after teaching and living among the nomadic peoples of Mongolia, Laura was intrigued by the handcrafts of Scandinavia’s nomadic peoples, the Sámi, and asked the question, “What have the Sámi contributed to Nordic Knitting?” The answer has turned into a wonderful quest, and has blossomed into visits, friendships and wonderful knitwear.

Her work has been featured in Interweave Press’ PieceWork magazine and Knitting Traditions as well as BÁIKI: The North-American Sámi Journal. After an extensive visit to Sapmi, the Sámi traditional homeland, she has also self-published a myriad of Sami-inspired knitting from the Swedish Sámi, Norwegian Sámi, and Finnish Sámi. She is teaching at the North House Folk School and the Janesville knitting guild in February this year, and speaking at the Madison, WI knit guild. In April, Ricketts teaches at Yarnover, a workshop of the Minnesota Knitting Guild. She lives in north-central Indiana.

Laura Rickett’s fiber artwork, In The Loop, will be on display at MoonTree Gallery from January 21 through March 4, 2017. MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST during winter. Call MoonTree Studios at (574) 935-1712 for group tour arrangements, or for an appointment at times other than these. Closing day for In The Loop will be Saturday, March 4, 2017.