The world of art is a specialized place. Artists are compelled by their craft. They must create and they understand each other’s need to do so.
A group of local artists, who work mostly in paint, joined forces to support the stage arts.
“We’ve never done anything like this before,” artist Pam Findleton said.
She was referring to the project that she and fellow artists Cathy Bounds, Mary Louise De Saussure, Valerie Niegrath and Linda Erfle have been working on this summer.
Imagination Theater is preparing a musical production of “The Secret Garden,” based on the 1910 English novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Lorrene Baum Davis, the director and an artist in her own right, enlisted the talents of these professionals to create the scenery. This is a departure from the usual plan of having cast members and amateur volunteers paint the scenery.
The design for the huge backdrops was prepared by Diana Erickson, another local artist, and she told each member of her professional artistic crew to bring their own vision to the work.
“It was a wonderful experience to come together like that. Somehow our styles blended into a complete scene and each panel is a beautiful work of art. I would love to do this again,” said Findleton.
The medium used to create the panels is a bit unusual as well.
“We used house paint, which is acrylic and is great to work with on a large plywood format like this … it dries quickly and is easy to change and modify,” said Niegrath.
Both Findleton and Niegrath agreed that it’s very fulfilling as members of the community to support other local artists.
Artists continually contribute their works to charities and organizations to help raise funds. Giving to other artists was very special for them.
For Findleton, “It was fun to have the arts working together … the acting, the music and the paint.”
The subject of the painted panels is being kept secret as part of the story, which is a tender 19th century tale about English children caught in the drama that adults have created. The beautiful panels have a role to play in the culmination of this sweet story.
The community needs art in all of its many forms; music, sculpture, paintings, jewelry, textiles, drama. And the arts need the support of the public in order to thrive.
To give the public a preview of “The Secret Garden,” some of the panels will be auctioned off at the main fundraiser for Imagination Theater. The event will be held Friday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. in the theater, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. The evening will include a raffle, a live auction and a silent auction. Catered appetizers and desserts will be offered and there will be opportunities to meet some of the artists and cast members. The evening will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets will be $25 at the door.
The Secret Garden opens on Sept. 7 and will run for the entire month. Tickets may be purchased at it-tickets.org or at the door. For more information call 530-642-0404.