Exhibit at Arts Barn Gallery (Photos)

The Arts Barn Gallery presents an exhibit featuring photography by Domenic Cicala, paintings by Melissa Miller and JoEllen Murphy and sculpture work by Richardene Forrest-Thweatt now through December 1. The gallery is located at 311 Kent Square Road in Gaithersburg, with viewing hours Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to a free Artists’ Reception today (Oct. 15) from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Alamo by Domenic Cicala Photo | City of Gaithersburg

Alamo by Domenic Cicala
Photo | City of Gaithersburg

Domenic Cicala, a local salon owner and photographer, is self-taught and works primarily as a portrait photographer. Cicala began shooting beauty and fashion photography for his salon before freelancing for others. Most recently, his love of music has produced a visual body of work featuring many musicians he has come to know. Cicala uses a portrait photographer’s senses in his other work as well. He looks to capture “the soul” and “the story” of his subject, whether a musician at just the right moment or an army of trees in the fog. “It’s all about evoking a feeling,” says Cicala. “I think there’s an emotional connection in everything I shoot. When someone looks at an image of mine, I think they should be wondering to themselves, what comes next, what am I missing, or more importantly, I wish I was there!” His work will be featured in the Arts Barn Invitational Gallery, and his art may be viewed at www.torturedartistproductions.com.

Kennedy Farm by Melissa Miller Photo | City of Gaithersburg

Kennedy Farm by Melissa Miller
Photo | City of Gaithersburg

Melissa Miller has been a painter her entire life; however, she began working in earnest in 1999 after discovering the versatility offered by acrylic media. Miller worked to form a style of paint application, composition and subject matter choice that is uniquely her own and has a particular admiration for the California Colorists. While a native of Virginia, Miller has spent the last 20 years in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, exhibiting throughout the area. She launched a collaborative gallery, which continues today in the heart of Chapel Hill. Her work may be viewed at www.melissalmiller.com.

Bay Morning by JoEllen Murphy Photo | City of Gaithersburg

Bay Morning by JoEllen Murphy
Photo | City of Gaithersburg

JoEllen Murphy left her position as an award-winning art director at The Washington Post to pursue pastel painting full-time. Since then, she has received national recognition for her pastels. She paints en plein air whenever possible and sometimes uses smaller paintings to create larger works in her studio. “There is a freshness that comes from painting directly from life,” Murphy says. “I strive to find the beauty of ordinary subjects that we pass by every day with the vibrancy of pastels, my favorite medium.” Murphy has been juried into and has received awards in national pastel shows and plein air competitions. She is a juried member of the Pastel Society of America and a signature member of the Maryland Pastel Society. To view her work, please visit www.joellenmurphy.com.

Sculpture by Richardene Forrest-Thweatt

Sculpture by Richardene Forrest-Thweatt

Richardene Forrest-Thweatt, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, currently resides in Germantown and is formally trained in the field of Interior Design. She sculpts primarily in alabaster and soapstone because of the rocks’ strength, variety of colors, veining, and raw beauty. Forrest-Thweatt is a member of the Art League of Germantown and the Washington Sculpture Group and is a Strathmore artist. “I like the shapes of the stones to be soft, rounded and sensual,” says Forrest-Thweatt. “Most people fail to look at stone in that way – as sensual – and truly appreciate the beauty.” Among her featured works are “Swan Song” and “Yoga,” both abstract carvings. Forrest-Thweatt, who has studied under local artist Ann Ruppert for more than a decade, approached her creations as she does many of her works: as an intuitive process of expressing the form within the stone. She finds inspiration in the textures and colors. “I’m on a journey of discovery when I’m carving, enamored with the patterns and colors of the stones. I find each is unique having its own depth, character and beauty. The natural fractures and inclusions in the rock bring a special uniqueness to each sculpture.”

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