"Creatures and Critters" Art Exhibit at the MOarts Gallery, June 2017

Perri Mason, resident artist of Bower Center for the Arts, has an all-animal art exhibit for 2017 titled “Creatures and Critters”. This exhibit will be held from June 1st through June 30th in the MOarts Gallery at the Moneta/ Smith Mountain Lake Library.

Perri Mason’s animal-themed art is fun. “Creatures and Critters” are animated with happiness in Mason’s world. Animals peer out mischievously from paintings wearing hats, pearls or emerging from water as in a dream. Cavorting through landscapes reminiscent of a Van Gogh, pets and farm animals with sparkling eyes, bursting with personality, seem to smile at the viewer. Mason states that, “Most of the animals that I paint are ones that I know or are owned by family or friends.” When asked how she paints them with such human characteristics, Mason admits, “During the painting process I try to imagine what the animal must be thinking at the moment.” Her connection with pets led Mason to the charitable decision that she will donate 15% from the sale of any painting sold from the June exhibit to the Bedford Humane Society. Most of her work in the show will be watercolors, with a few colored pencil drawings as well. Unusual titles such as “Swine Before Pearls” and “Suessical Pooch” emphasize the humor in Mason’s paintings. She explains that, “The titles of my paintings usually come to me while I am deeply engrossed in the painting process, as if the painting speaks to me and tells me what to name it. The titles always make me smile and hopefully add to the viewer’s connection to the work and brighten their day as well!”

A local artist educated at Radford University, Mason graduated with a degree in Studio Art and a minor in Education. Her career has included teaching art in public schools, designing art for a silk screening company, as well as selling art supplies for local retailers. In 2008 she moved into a studio space in The Electric Company in Bedford where she became a founding member of The Electric Company Artist’s Co-op Gallery until 2016. Currently, her studio space is located on the third floor in The Bower Center for The Arts in the town of Bedford. Mason’s primary medium is watercolor although she also uses acrylic and colored pencil. As humorous as her paintings can be, Mason is serious about her method and technique; “Painting allows me to take the chaos of the world and to slow it down. To focus on my subject matter and create how I see the subject using pigment and water is my personal form of meditation. Using layer upon layer of watercolor glazes gives me the depth and light I see in my subject matter.”

A member of the Virginia Watercolor Society, Perri Mason has exhibited and won awards in state, local, and juried art shows. Some of these include The Virginia Watercolor Society Annual Juried Exhibit, The Bower Center National Juried Exhibit, The Lynchburg Art Club, WVTF, Second Helpings Art Gallery, The RSPCA Show at The Taubman Museum of Art and The Piedmont Arts Center. Currently her work can be seen on the third floor of The Bower Center for The Arts, The Electric Company: Art and More and at the Blue Ridge Animal Hospital in Bedford. Perri is available for commissions and specializes in animal portraits. Her work may also be viewed online at www.perrimason.com and www.facebook.com/perrimason. The MOarts Gallery is located in the Moneta/ Smith Mountain Lake Library at 13641 Moneta Rd. Moneta. Call (540) 425-7004 for hours and directions.