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VAAL show features a creative variety of work

The Visual Artists Alliance of LaGrange opened their annual show at the LaGrange Art Museum on Saturday.

The show featured local artists’ work in chalk, clay, paint and a variety of other mediums. VAAL is in its 11th year, and the stated mission of the group is to bring together LaGrange area artists to “form a more cohesive and supportive artist community, foster their activities, and to amplify their visibility and voice in the wider community.” The exhibit at the museum included 66 artists, featuring both new and veteran members.

“I say this every year, and it sounds like I’m being trite, but I think it is one of the best shows we’ve had,” VAAL President Thea McElvy said. “We’ve got sculptors in that we’ve never had before. The artists that we have and the mediums that they work in are more diverse.”

The VAAL show is one of LAM’s most popular shows of the year with artists inviting friends, family and local art lovers to view the exhibit.

“It is so diverse that there is something for everybody to enjoy from abstracts to pen and ink to landscapes to portraiture, sculpture — be it with clay or metal works,” McElvy said.
“You couldn’t find a more diverse show that would appeal to such a broad audience as this.”

Local artist Melinda Clair curated the VAAL exhibition, and LAM highlighted the importance of exhibits like these to the community.

“I love the diversity of the art and to see our community becoming more and more creative and the camaraderie among the artists,” LAM Director Laura Jennings said. “They encourage each other to become their better selves, and that is inspiring.”

Most of the pieces at the VAAL show are available for purchase. Also on display is “Vive Carriére,” an exhibit featuring Dr. Nick Vlachos’ collection of paintings by Eugène Carrière, a late 19th century French symbolist painter. The exhibit was curated by Lauren Oliver, LAM deputy director, and will be on display until Nov. 10. The VAAL exhibition will be on display at the LaGrange Art Museum until Oct. 6.  The museum is free to locals, but donations are encouraged. To learn more about LAM, visit Lagrangeartmuseum.org. To learn more about VAAL, visit Vaalart.com.