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Contact: Henrietta DeGroot, 209-617-5558
The Obed Wild and Scenic River will host a reception for Penny Otwell, the first artist-in-residence for the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and Obed Wild and Scenic River. The reception will offer visitors the opportunity to meet and talk with the artist while viewing some of the painting she has created during her stay in the parks.
The reception will be held on March 1, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) at the Obed Visitor Center, 208 N. Maiden Street in downtown Wartburg. Light refreshments will be served and entertainment will be provided by the Knoxville Hammer Dulcimer Club. There will also be activities for children during the event (weather permitting). For more information, call the Obed Visitor Center at (423) 346-6294.
Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas welcomes everyone to the event, "I am thrilled we have this opportunity to share with the public the scenic beauty and stories of Big South Fork and the Obed captured in Penny's paintings. We started this program to offer a unique opportunity for artists to help translate our parks' purposes, as places of pleasure and preservation, into images which bring others enjoyment and a deeper understanding of the parks many Americans may never visit."
Penny Otwell was selected as the first artist-in-residence and will be in the parks through March 6. In addition to the reception, the public is invited to visit with her in the Education and Interpretation Building (next to the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area) during her open studio hours on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 3 to 5 p.m.
Otwell paints with acrylic, oil and watercolor. She is known for her palette knife painting in an ala prima style of thick paint. Her use of color is what collectors say they like best about her work. Otwell lives near Yosemite National Park in Mariposa County, California.
Otwell said, "I like to work as large as possible and strive for a sense of rhythm with the shapes found in nature. When asked where her inspiration comes from, she remarked, "No matter how I approach a painting, it is inspired by these years of walking through canyons and up to the top of cliffs. I often refer to my pencil sketches which brings a painting to life in my own unique style."