For Ella Cart, creativity can’t be kept in a box. And, as a painter, her style can’t be confined to just one medium — she simply has to explore it all.

“I do a little bit of it all from realism to the abstract, landscapes to multimedia. You are free to paint however you like,” she said.

But there is one element that is reoccurring in her work — color. From pastel pink sunsets to vivid greens, Cart is always looking to bring light and life to her canvases. One of her pieces — a painting of sunflowers — blends bright yellow with cool blues sprinkled with pops of pink.

“I just like color. (The sunflower piece) is actually an acrylic pour ... you just pour the colors on there and then you think ‘now what do I do?’ You have to make sense from the chaos,” she said with a laugh.

It’s one of the many pieces she will be sharing at a new Glynn Visual Arts (GVA) exhibit, which is officially opening this evening. The art center, located at 106 Island Drive, St. Simons Island, will host a 6 p.m. Facebook Live streaming event. The show, titled Portfolio, couples Cart’s work with a Valdosta potter named Walter Hobbs.

“It was so funny because I didn’t know that they were putting our work together. But I have been collecting his pieces for a long time,” she said. “It really has more of a sculpture feel to it. His work in this show is very varied too so it works well together,” she said.

Like Cart, Hobbs also hopes visitors will enjoy the wide variety of methods he uses to create his ceramic designs including incorporating Raku firing, an ancient Japanese technique for finishing pottery.

“Whether it be forms, glazes, firing processes, textures or uses, I have always pushed myself to take what I am doing today and use it as a basis for what it may become tomorrow. This approach allows my work to continue to be challenging, and thus rewarding to myself and to collectors,” he said.

The show will be available for viewing until Nov. 7. New Glynn Visual Arts executive director Terri Evans is thrilled to have these two highly respected artists featured in the gallery.

“It’s a stunning show, truly, one of our best yet,” Evans said. “Ella and Walter’s work meshes so beautifully together.”

Hobbs, Evans adds, also has an interesting connection to the Isles and to GVA specifically.

“His first job was at Glynn Art Association, which is now GVA. He was the artist-in-residence here,” she said.

Times have changed though — especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. But the organization is doing all it can to keep patrons safe. They are limiting the amount of people inside the space — with the max being eight visitors. Even so, with gallery hours spanning from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, Evans feels there will be plenty of opportunities to socially distance.

“People can just drop in (and) feel pretty confident that they will be able to get in to see the exhibit and be in a safe environment,” she said.

Evans hopes that the community will make an effort to stop in to support the cause. After all, in a time of solemnity such as a pandemic, art can prove healing.

“I walked in on this dreary day — during a pandemic — and saw the show hanging there. It picked me right up. It’s a really uplifting show,” she said. “I think that it really speaks to hope and beauty. I think it will be healing for people to see.”

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