The Hinesville Area Arts Council gallery on Commerce Street in downtown Hinesville was packed with art-curious business people and artists seeking other artists Thursday during a reception and Liberty County Chamber of Commerce business-after-hours event.
HAAC co-op artist and art instructor Ashley Kukula Cuevas greeted people who came to her “Taking Notice” exhibit. Large, bold, chalk-pesto paintings; medium-sized acrylic pieces; pencil sketches; and watercolors lined the gallery walls, showing Cuevas’ range of styles from controlled forms to free-flowing expression with detailed foregrounds and abstract backgrounds.
“Some of my paintings are heavily planned,” she said. “I knew what they were going to look like before I painted them.”
Cuevas found inspiration for her latest collection in everyday experiences. She said many people are too busy to stop and notice what she takes the time to examine, like the detail of a roly poly bug on the sidewalk or a vibrant crawfish on a restaurant dinner plate. The artist said she looks for interesting items in nature to paint, or she paints what she wonders about. Some of her paintings are slightly tongue-in-cheek. One such work depicts the ripe abdomen of an expectant mother with the banner “First playground” underneath. Other scenes were painted from photographs she has taken.
Cuevas, a military spouse and the mother of 2-year-old Dominic, said her son also inspires her. The toddler is the larger-than-life subject in several of her expansive paintings.
“Taking Notice” is Cuevas’ third arts-council gallery exhibit. She also exhibited in January 2012 and last April.
She began teaching arts-council classes in November 2011. Cuevas teaches all levels, from pre-school to adults, and is available for step-by-step painting parties. She will help facilitate an artist round-table event from 6-8 p.m. Monday, April 28.
Cuevas’s work will be displayed at the HAAC gallery through April 30. The gallery is open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and is open later on Thursday afternoons to accommodate farmers-market attendees.
For more information, call Cuevas at 315-447-2528 or go to hinesvillearts.com.