‘Introspection’ creates space for reflection, joy
Judy Cato, Special Writer
As we emerge from 2021, a new exhibition at Harrison County Arts Gallery along Chestnut Street in Corydon surprises with its variety, artistry and depth of insight.
Thirty vibrant paintings by Kit Miracle, collectively titled Introspection, are grouped into landscapes, sunflowers, still lifes and a prominent arrangement of paintings that depict the dining experience, both communal and solo.
Miracle, the former director of the multidisciplinary arts center in Jasper, has exhibited her works in some of the most prestigious shows in the country. This is her first solo exhibition at the Harrison County Arts Gallery.
The opening reception on Jan. 14 drew about 25 people who were genuinely engaged with the art, examining the brush strokes from close up, then moving back to experience the paintings from a distance.
Miracle is a contemporary Impressionist whose style calls for this kind of scrutiny.
“Like the French Impressionists, I use thick brush strokes that are visible, not blended and over-mixed as in more realistic works,” Miracle noted. “Standing very close to an Impressionist work, you may see a collection of paint swirls and blobs; stand back a few feet or more and the image comes together.”
Miracle sometimes creates a series of paintings, a collection of pieces that have a similar theme.
“I sometimes like to explore a subject in more depth, creating several paintings of the same subject,” Miracle said of the grouping of paintings depicting people eating in various situations.
Looking at these paintings, one by one, the viewer is led to reflect on the way the dining experience — how, where and with whom one eats — can affect one’s mood and spirit.
One of the most intriguing of these paintings, Alone (acrylic on canvas, 30 inches by 24 inches), depicts a solitary man hunched over in a corner booth of a café. Although he sits by a window, he doesn’t look out; his head is down looking at his phone. He doesn’t see the poster on the wall that reads “JOIN”. He also misses the way the lighting casts a theatrical play of reflections across the tabletops and café floor.
Lunch at the Museum (acrylic on canvas, 30 inches by 24 inches), by contrast, is a joyful painting, capturing the essence of a child enjoying an outing. A little girl sipping a soft drink through a straw dominates the canvas. The café’s sky-blue walls and windows that reveal a park-like setting contribute to the happy mood. The girl is not alone. A water glass in the painting’s foreground places the viewer as her companion, able to watch the child’s delighted expression.
The playful and sensuous painting Anticipation (acrylic on canvas, 30 inches by 24 inches) depicts a cozy room where a table is colorfully set and ready for a family to sit down for dinner. A little dog sitting on his hind legs beside the table is anticipating his share.
The visual feast goes on and on in this exhibition. Many of the landscapes depict well-know spots in Southern Indiana.
The new year brings a new calendar of art exhibits. Introspection will run until Feb. 26.
Gallery hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m., Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, go to www.harrisoncountyarts.org.