Anoka’s Rumriver Art Center is hosting the third in its series of gallery exhibitions in the Mentoring Program, which will open Saturday, August 14 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The new show, titled “Finding the Light”, will feature the works of artist teacher and mentor, Patricia Undis, and her mentee, Dianne Novak. The featured artwork represents the year-long journey of two artists – Undis finding light in everyday scenes in his hometown of charming Anoka, and Novak seeing the light of God’s Word in the nature. They chose acrylic paint as the main medium and Undis also added oil paint to several of his paintings.
Both found the program and the mentor / mentee relationship to be very beneficial. They developed the habit of painting and producing regularly, each producing about twenty pieces. They both left each week’s session with goals for the following week. But these encounters also gave them time to explore techniques and ideas. They stood up for each other through doubts and pushed each other to stretch for new goals.
The Rumriver Art Center mentorship program provided financial support to these artists, allowing them to try out new materials and improve their tools.
“And knowing that I would have the opportunity to show my work at the end was a great motivator,” Novak said.
Pat Undis is an accomplished painter, with over 60 gallery show awards, including numerous “Best in Show” and “Awards of Excellence”. She has been working in art for over 40 years. Undis taught art for decades, so she was very comfortable with her role as a mentor. But she also liked participating in the program.
“The responsibility was good for both of us,” Undis said. “But we really love each other, so we had a lot of fun together.”
This mix of work and fun led to a year-long journey of shared discovery, making it a powerful experience for both of them.
Dianne Novak had never painted before taking her first class at Rumriver Art Center in 2018. She is a writer and published author, but dreamed of trying out a visual style of storytelling. She discovered that writing and painting have many similarities – going from a chaotic start to a focused result, self-publishing and more.
“Pat really encouraged me to be more confident in my art,” Novak said. “And the discipline of painting regularly and showing my work has kept me focused.”
They will also have an evening in the gallery with a Meet the Artist session on Thursday August 26 from 6 pm to 7:30 pm The gallery exhibition will run until September 7.