Evening for the Arts to feature work of Nevada Union High School grad | TheUnion.com

Evening for the Arts to feature work of Nevada Union High School grad

Downtown Nevada City will be graced with the artwork of recent Nevada Union High School graduate and artist Kelly Rowe.

The First Friday Art Walk in Nevada City, where her work will be featured, takes place at JJ Jackson’s from 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 7.

Rowe started painting early while attending Yuba River Charter School, and her experiences learning from Terry Baxter at Nevada Union cultivated her abilities and distinctive style. Her paintings reflect an abstract style and frequently are evocative of emotion, said Rowe.

“When I paint I like to evoke some sort of emotion, and usually that comes with painting figures whether they’re dancing or moving or don’t exactly look like figures,” says Rowe of her creative process, elaborating that her painting is not deliberate but rather, “how can I evoke sort of a natural, warm feeling.”

Yet there is no deliberate force to create that emotion either, says Rowe, further pointing to the free flowing style of the artist.

Rowe, who graduated from Nevada Union this spring, is not long for Nevada City as she will be headed to the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the fall. The broad scope of options of study and possibilities for her future, which as for most entering college is a bit of an abstraction itself currently was a main deciding factor in her decision to attend the school.

“I can just go to school for something I’m passionate about and then apply it to whatever career I end up having,” said Rowe, adding, “I’m just so excited to live with 500 artists in a building in downtown Chicago.”

One motivation for the show was a sort of goodbye to the town she has called home for so long, said Rowe.

“I think I just wanted to work toward something, have a finished product and have it culminate in a celebration right before I go off to college,” said Rowe.The uniqueness of Nevada County serves as an indicator for some of the colors in her paintings, says Rowe, noting that the vibrant but still earthy tones are resonant of her hometown.

The desire to create a more substantial body of work to present at the art walk was also a significant factor in her decision to put on the show. Another motivation was to have an endpoint that she could work toward, holding herself to a schedule. That strategy has worked, as Rowe has finished five medium sized works, two larger and also hopes to add a few smaller pieces prior to the show.

“You have to push through it, otherwise you’ll sit there not painting and a month later you haven’t done anything,” said Rowe of working through creative blocks.

Kael Newton, a journalism student at the University of Oregon, is interning with The Union; he can be reached at NCPCIntern@theunion.com.

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