On Friday, October 28, 2011, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Women In The Visual Arts is having an opening reception for their Palm Beach Gardens City Hall exhibit, Creative Impressions II, and Laura Kerzner is one of the featured artists. Laura has been a WITVA member for over a decade, has served on the board half that time, and has been a Vice President of the organization.
She is also a writer who has produced the WITVA newsletter for the past six years. When the author approached her about being the subject of an Examiner profile, Laura wrote the following,:
“When Maxine asked to write about my art, I was glad for the opportunity to share the story behind my geisha painting, which is featured this month in the invitation to the Palm Beach Gardens City Hall exhibit by Women In The Visual Arts. It is dedicated to my friend, Barbara Freedman Pedersen, a 21-year survivor of ovarian cancer. When she was diagnosed, she was given 6 months to live, but with courage and determination, she defied all odds. She also lived life to the fullest, traveling the world with her husband whose job took him around the globe. Often while she traveled, she was also enduring chemotherapy treatments.
Barbara was a wonderful photographer with thousands of photos that I enjoyed. I was intrigued particularly by her photos of geishas, which led me to the Morikami for further inspiration and to Google to research Obis, the sash and knot of traditional Japanese dress featured in my artwork. The painting at the City Hall was my first, oil on board, but it led to several others of the same subjects and in the last year of my friend’s life, superstitiously I continued to paint them as if I were helping to keep her alive.
The second painting, a large oil on canvas, was a close up view of the same four subjects, and simultaneously I painted an oil of two geishas’ faces. I also produced a mixed media fanciful geisha painting, “Rain and Snow,” and an acrylic abstract with the same background technique. When my friend lost her long battle with cancer, I stopped painting geishas, but I have been told that my paintings inspired others to paint them. And recently my Chinese friend posed for me, and I did an oil on linen painting of an Asian woman with a feather fan. Soon I hope to do a formal portrait of her. My most recent painting, also in the City Hall, is of a Vietnamese child sitting in the midst of offerings for a Happy New Year, so the Asian influence continues.
I am so glad to be sharing Barbara’s story in this month of breast cancer awareness and survival. And I hope her story of survival against all odds and a life lived to the fullest and captured in her art will be a continuing inspiration to us all.”
Laura’s award winning work is both inspired and inspiring. To see it, visit the Gardens City Hall, 10500 N. Military Trail Palm Beach Gardens, FL Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or please attend the reception on Friday evening, and for now enjoy the slideshow.
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***© 2011 all rights reserved Maxine Schreiber.