City Hall Gallery: “Alchemy” by Michelle Stroescu
The current exhibition at City Hall is on exhibit from April – June 2023 and features artwork by Michelle Stroescu.
“Alchemy” at Georgetown City Hall
Born and raised among the influence of the North Carolina and Tennessee mountains, Michelle’s paintings, whether abstract or impressionist, embody the pulse of spirit found in her surroundings. For the past 23 years she has made her home in Texas, falling under the spell of big skies and varied landscapes. Recently Michelle relocated from Dallas to Georgetown, working in her studio close by the Texas Hill Country area. Her work can be found locally at The Artisan Connect Gallery.
Elements of nature and emotion are intuitively influential in the usage of color and mark making in her paintings and process. Primarily self taught, her mediums of choice are oil/cold wax, acrylics, and encaustics. “Nature, seasons, cosmos, emotion, spirit, culture, music, and relationships, often intersect in my paintings.”
Her work can be found in private collections in Atlanta, Austin, Boulder, Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Germany.
2022 she was awarded 2nd place in 2D Abstract category in the Georgetown Art Center statewide juried show “ART HOP”
2020 two paintings were juried into Dallas Art 214 exhibit
2016 ABC Studios Dallas selected her work to be included in the staging of a
Dallas home for the filming of a TV pilot starring Anna Paquin
2014 her painting “Drenched” was honored and selected as one of the larger
scale Honorarium Paintings to hang in the Baylor Scott-White Hospital in Waxahachie
2013, Chris Harrison, television host of The Bachelor, reached out and
commissioned Michelle for an abstract interpretation inspired by his beloved home state of Texas
2012 Pantone Institute’s Leatrice Eiseman and Colourlovers.com awarded Michelle Second Prize in their International contest for her color palette design and essay based on one of her paintings
“Moving from Dallas, my home of 23 years, to the countryside of west Georgetown two years ago was quite the change. My oh my what a transformative change it has been.
The space, the sounds of nature vs. the sounds of sirens, helped clear the way for fresh perspectives. I was ready to “play” and explore the question “what do I want to share and say now.”
Granting my mind free reign to travel the paths I was leaning towards felt authentic.
The mystery, the magic, the curiosity of recurring symbols, brush movements,marks, and the must-have inscribed non-blatant messages, revealed themselves with an innate ease. These are my ode to
ALCHEMY.” Michelle Stroescu
The Gallery Wall at City Hall will exhibit four local artists per year, with opportunities for students from Georgetown Independent School District and Southwestern University to exhibit their work. The exhibitions are by invitation and are designed to align with current Georgetown Arts and Culture Programming. To be considered for an invitation by the Georgetown Arts and Culture Board, local artists may submit their resume and portfolio to email@example.com.
Past City Hall exhibitions include:
Carol Light, April – June 2019
“The City Hall lobby also features a rotating quarterly art exhibit sponsored by the Georgetown Arts and Culture Board. The first selection features seven pieces by Carol Light. Her art has been exhibited internationally and won numerous awards. She has been a favorite local artist for many years and her works permanently hang in prominent locations around town. The City Council recognized Ms. Light’s contributions to arts and culture in Georgetown in November 2016.” Ellen Greeney, Williamson County Sun
Gary Anderson, July – September 2019
Compelled to explore discarded, anachronistic, and misplaced items, Gary Anderson’s work endeavors to offer objects an afterlife within other forms. By performing repetitive and rhythmic artistic tasks, he creates families of related shapes and textures, resulting in the discovery of new sets, groups, and configurations. Individual reincarnated works materialize in their newly assigned place, beckoning us to contemplate and reflect.
Norma Clark, October – December 2019
Norma Clark attended Southwestern University in Georgetown and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in 1997. She received her Masters of Fine Arts from Vermont College of Norwich University in 2000.
Clark is an abstract artist whose paintings are expressive, intuitive, and spontaneous. Her abstractions stem from various sources and document discoveries made during her investigations. Process is a key part of Clark’s work, and the objective is to create paintings that are visually engaging and contain ambiguities of space, color, form, and chaos. Her paintings are personal and are reflections of a range of internal emotions and complexities of life.
Georgetown ISD Advanced Placement Students, January – March 2020
Seth Daulton, June & July 2020
Sites (Revisited): Seth Daulton, was on exhibit in June and July of 2020. Seth is represented by Nicole Longnecker Gallery in Houston, TX. , and he is currently working as Technical Assistant and Exhibitions Coordinator at Southwestern University in Georgetown,TX.
Artwork pictured: “Site LVI”; Lithography, monotype, and paper lithography; 15″ x 22″; 2020
Devon Clarkson, August & September 2020
This exhibit featured recent work by Devon Clarkson, one of the mural artists for the Preserving History Mural and the artist selected for the Red Poppy Festival Poster 20th Anniversary Edition.
Featured Image: “Cecely’s View” by Devon Clarkson; winner of the Best of Show award in the 2020 Georgetown Art Hop!
Sonia Colonna Mathis, October – December 2020
This exhibit featured recent work by local artist, art instructor, former gallery owner, and custom picture framer, Sonia Colonna Mathis.
Julia Canfield, April – June 2021
In Polymer Empire, Julia Canfield explores the ironic beauty and luminosity of single-use shopping bags by engaging with ideas of nature versus humanity; how humans contaminate nature, and vice versa. Canfield studies the forms, textures, and transparencies of plastic bags, highlighting their strange allure through abstraction. In order to express the implications of globalised consumerism, many of the paintings’ compositions are inspired by maps of areas which either produce or suffer from high levels of plastic pollution. Through this work, viewers may confront the complex emotions which can arise from the paradox of humanity’s guilty fascination with consumerism.
Jessica Meurer Sobhani, April – June 2021
“My current work explores themes of travel, nostalgia, and celebrating the beauty of the natural world. I am currently working towards a Masters in Biology Teaching with a thesis that focuses on using the arts to communicate climate science concepts to the public. Rather than focusing on all the problems facing society with the current climate crisis, my work is aiming to remind people of the beauty of the natural world, and why travel and conservation is important for everyone, artists included. This series of work explores my travels through Texas, Hawaii, and Alaska that helped me develop my love of the natural world. The images are based on my photography from my travels. My experiences in Alaska particularly changed the course of my artwork and interests and inspired me to pursue scientific concepts in my work.”
Jessica Meurer Sobhani currently teaches painting at East View High School and is also a member of the Georgetown Arts and Culture Board.
Marissa Gomez, July – September 2021
Marissa Palmer is a Texas born artist who called NYC home for over 15 years. A multi-ethnic woman whose art and writing are an important part of how she shares her life experiences. Being Latinx, Cherokee, and Lipan Apache, the need to narrate her own story directly to an audience without a third party filter is critical. Her art provides this, empowering her to transcend the confines of societal stereotypes. Growing up in a household with multiple religious influences provided a rich spiritual experience. It profoundly affected her world view, expanding her understanding and empathy for her fellow humans. The mediums she works in are predominately acrylics on canvas & watercolor paper, with occasional deviations using charcoal and chalk pastels. She also uses these mediums in conjunction with found objects to create collages.
David Valdez, October – December 2021
David Valdez was born in Alice, Texas. After graduating from high school from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Valdez enlisted in the U.S. Air Force where he was trained as a photographer. He served with the 836th Combat Support Group for four years and then earned a BA in Journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park. While he was a student there, Valdez was employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a photographer. He left the federal government to become chief photographer for the U.S Chamber of Commerce. In 1983 he became personal photographer to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush. In 1988 President Bush appointed Valdez Director of the White House Photo Office. During this administration, Valdez traveled to 75 countries and all 50 states with the president. In 1997 Valdez published George Herbert Walker Bush: A Photographic Profile. Valdez was appointed general manager of photography for Walt Disney Attractions in 1993. In 2001 he became special assistant to the HUD assistant secretary. From 2003 to 2010, Valdez was the Director of Visual and Electronic Information for HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. David is a member of the Georgetown Texas Arts and Culture Advisory Board and Co-host with the Williamson Museum for the Georgetown Photography Festival. Valdez donated his archive to the Briscoe Center for American History in 2012.
Ellen Greeney, January – March 2022
“7 Continents, 7 Decades – A photo journal of my travels…
My footprints have appeared on all seven continents while exploring scores of countries, nations, kingdoms, republics, principalities, provinces, pueblos, islands, a city-state and even a grand Duchy: from a walkabout in the tiny Most Serene Republic of San Marino to a patriotic parade in the failed German Democratic Republic and a river cruise in the largest country, ‘mother’ Russia.
There are no fancy professional cameras or lens in my bag. My photos were taken with an iPad mini, iPhone 7S and an iPhone 11.”
Moody Blues by Virginia Headly Maserang – April – June 2022
Virginia most often works in the medium of encaustic – a paint with a history that goes back to ancient Greece that is a blend of beeswax, damar resin, and pigment. Because beeswax is impervious to moisture, it is one of the most durable artists’ paints. Alone, beeswax is somewhat soft, but with the added resin it becomes harder, more durable, and can take a high polish. The luminosity of encaustic works is unparalleled. Many art media are wax-compatible, including ink, pastels, graphite, charcoal, and oil paint, as well as absorbent materials such as paper and fabric, providing for a rich mixed media approach.
“Moody Blues” is a series of mixed media encaustic work she created in response to the emotional landscape of current events. The works focus on her reconciliation of the trauma and challenges of our time with her sense of both vulnerability and resilience. The color indigo weaves throughout the works, evocative of both strength and mystery.
“Color and Chrome” at Georgetown City Hall – July – September 2022
Patrick O’brien was born in Houston, TX and received a BA degree from the University of Houston in 1976. His resume includes 46 years of full-time employment in commercial photography, lithography, aerial photomapping, forensics (CSI), and audio/video/motion graphics production.
This exhibit is the culmination of images captured from several outdoor car shows in Georgetown. When necessary, the backgrounds have been manipulated to remove all distractions. Viewers may notice the regrettable absence of any models built by Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth/DeSoto…or the Oldsmobile Rocket 88. The search continues…”
“The Hill We Climb” by Diane Sandlin – October – December 2022
Abstract painter Diane Sandlin’s exhibit, The Hill We Climb, is inspired by Amanda Gorman’s 2021 inaugural poem of the same name. The cadence, energy and imagery of that poem are created in the mixed media centerpiece of the exhibit, a large artwork full of color, texture and contrasts with shapes building upon shapes as if climbing ever-upward. The six other paintings hold the spirit of the overall theme with use of energetic lines, movement and shapes hinting of growth and universal aspirations – for the individual, a community, a country or the world. Just as in the inaugural poem, we explore a call to action through themes of hope, unity, healing and resilience.
“Hope for the Environment”, an East View High School Student Exhibit
Students at East View High School were asked to create an art piece that communicates their thoughts and feelings on environmental topics ranging from climate change to pollution and biodiversity loss. These pieces represent their thoughts on the impacts of humans on the environment, and what we can do to create a more sustainable future. Several pieces of artwork are created using recycled materials including reused canvases that were donated to the school.