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April 2024 Windows





New art for April is now on display in the front windows of the RAL Art Center, 19 N. Main Street, Kilmarnock. 


Juli Schuszler is a Gloucester artist known for her vibrant and dramatic oil masterpieces showcasing the beauty of the natural world. A passion for color is evident in Juli's paintings, inspired by an ongoing love of nature and gardening. Much of Juli’s inspiration comes from her garden. Juli works from real life observations and her own reference photos, focusing on the play of light and shadow, creating drama and visual interest in her art. Often working on large canvases, Juli paints carefully and slowly, creating numerous layers of paint, building as she goes. Several of her striking florals are displayed in the Gallery Window this month, based on photos she took while strolling through gardens. Juli says, “I like to search for striking and dramatic light in the images that I collect for my references…. I want to transport the viewer to a beautiful world of color and light with my paintings, to take them into a garden of delight!” Anyone can see that the common thread through all her artwork is a love of color and light. Retired from careers in commercial art and then in teaching, Juli now pursues her own art in her home studio. Her artworks are featured in the Bay School for the Arts, The Charles H. Taylor Art Center, the Crossroads Art Center, and the RAL Art Center Gallery. 


Fine artist and jewelry designer, Jacquie Colligan, also looks to nature for inspiration. For instance, the silver art clay Jacquie uses to create many of her jewelry pieces is formed using molds made from bark and oyster shells. Art Clay Silver is made with pure silver powder, water, and a bonding agent. When dry, the clay is fired to 1600°F, leaving 99.9% pure silver (purer than Sterling Silver’s 92.5%). Jacquie’s unique handcrafted jewelry created a demand for inspired unique art pieces. They incorporate semi-precious stone, metal, and beads acquired during worldwide travel.  


Finally, one of RAL’s newest cooperative artists, Gayle Merrill, showcases her large-scale floral paintings. Gayle graduated from Virginia Tech with a major in Fine Art and Education and later taught Art History at high school in Chesapeake, Virginia.  While painting in watercolors and showing in various art shows in the area, she won several Best in Show Awards.  Gayle now lives in Gloucester, where she is painting in oils. She lives on the water and enjoys painting the water and all kinds of boats on the Mobjack and Chesapeake Bays.  With her emphasis on strong light and color, flowers have been her most recent subject matter.  Gayle is inspired by their natural shapes and beautiful colors, and that love is evident in the vibrancy of the large, semi-abstract florals she is currently exhibiting in the RAL Gallery.  The large scale and up-close point of view makes the viewer feel like being amid a huge bouquet! 

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