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Meridian Open House 5.19.2016

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Meridian is excited to open our doors to the community at this Thursday’s Recovery Art Exhibit and Open House. Thursday’s event features two full galleries of art created by local artist of the An Artist Organization, featuring recovery-themed art. Meridian’s Doors to the New Administration building will open to the public at 5:15 and the event will run until 6:30. These are the stories of some (but by no means all) of the artists whose work will be featured: Ann Cooper: Ann Cooper studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Canada and the Schule fur Gestaltung, Basel, Switzerland. In the International graduate program, Ann deepened her knowledge and skills of design processes, which she implements as an artist, designer and teacher. She taught at OCAD from 1987-2001. Ann left her design career to follow her passion as a fine artist. Her focus and inspiration is Florida landscape where she paints ‘en plein air’. Ann’s pastoral works combine her love of nature and animals. Theresa Foster: Theresa Foster is an expressive artist and group facilitator. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2004 with a doctoral degree in experimental psychology and an intention to become a research professor. After discovering that the academic life was not her passion, Theresa found herself plunged into a dark period of depression and anxiety. Around 2010, she began to recover a sense of self as she recognized that she could find fulfilment in creative expression. Theresa began taking art classes in 2013 and is currently pursuing a certification in Expressive Arts Education at the Expressive Arts Florida Institute in Sarasota, FL. She is also a Creator with PeaceLove Studios and facilitates their expressive arts workshops in the Gainesville area. Ouida McIlhinney: Ouida McIlhinney has kept a journal since she was eight years old, inventing a secret, symbolic language to express her thoughts and feelings. Her artwork and journaling are profoundly intertwined, and she has found healing in both. She received an Associate’s Degree in Fine Arts at Buck’s County Community College. She did not pursue a further degree but attended Philadelphia College of Arts and Philadelphia College of Textiles.  While painting is her passion, she found it found it easier to make a living in the technology field and worked as a graphic designer and web developer for more than 25 years. Like her often-coded journaling, her paintings tend toward the symbolic and the allegorical. She is strongly influenced by the artists Alphonse Mucha, Maxfield Parish, as well as many botanical illustrators and wildlife illustrators. Ouida’s fondness for science fiction has influenced her art as well. Charissa Krasnow: While she has lived in Gainesville most of her adult life, Charissa Krasnow was born and raised in the Chicago area. Her parents’ love and enthusiasm for art and art history led her large family to make frequent trips to the great museums the city is known for particularly the Art Institute of Chicago. Picasso, Van Gogh, Seurat — the great masters — would leap from the canvas and into her imagination. As an empath, she felt the stress of internalizing pain, but also felt an immense deep satisfaction and awe from learning about and observing great art. Charissa’s paintings deal with themes of recovery from mental illness and have helped her to heal and to make the changes necessary to live a better life. Thursday’s exhibition will include work by artists Terry Strayer, Grace Hubbard, and Catherine Kennedy. We look forward to seeing you!

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