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Maumelle Art Group growing

By Caroline Zilk

This article was published June 30, 2011 at 2:40 a.m.

Holly Tilley calls herself a “professional artist wanna-be,” but on this particular day, Tilley, a member of the Maumelle Art Group, showed up at 7:30 a.m. to create a painting of her favorite barn. By 2 p.m., she was picking out a frame for her finished work.

It was just another week at the group’s studio on Maumelle Boulevard.

Paintings hang nearly edge to edge on the walls. With 18 artists painting and displaying their work, space is often limited.

“The number of members changes all the time,” Tilley said.

She’s been painting with the group for about six years, and on Wednesday, she painted a barn in Ferndale for the fourth time - this time with a soft blue sky and green trees surrounding the old rustic structure.

“I just like it,” she said. “I like the subject. I like the composition. Every time I paint it, I learn a different lesson.”

Tilley said the lesson this time was that she was able to be a lot freer with her brushwork than she was the first time she painted the scene.

During the painting process, the communal benefits of the Art Group are extremely helpful, Tilley said.

“If I come across a hard spot, I might drag Cyndi in and say, ‘What do you see here? What else needs to be done? Do you like what I’m doing with this color?’ And then, what we end up doing as a result is just really having a lot of fun,” Tilley said.

Cyndi Kudyk is a hobbyist painter from Maumelle. Her work hangs next to Tilley’s, a semiprofessional painter. Also on the walls is abstract art by Ned Perme, news and weather man for KATV.

The Art Group began when several Maumelle artists began painting together. Its members now include local artists from beginners to established professionals. The group gives lessons to other members, as well as people in the community, and also sells their work.

“We don’t sell on commission, and we have a lot of work to sell, so it makes it affordable to everyone,” Tilley said. “You would be surprised what you can get for hundreds and hundreds of dollars less than you could in a corporate gallery.”

Members from the Maumelle Art Group also display their work at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in downtown Little Rock.

“All the art in the lobby, restaurant and bar is ours, and [the pieces] are for sale,” Tilley said.

The group also plans to hang work at the Little Rock Rug Co. on Cantrell Road.

“We have the exclusive rights to go in there and hang art, and we will be doing that next week,” Tilley said.

The Maumelle Art Group participates in Friday Night Art Walks in Little Rock and sold art at Spring Fest this year in Heber Springs, a venture that went well, members said. They maintain relationships with several local interior designers, and several artists in the group have been commissioned to create pieces.

“We plan to continue on that route and just keep on painting,” Tilley said.

River Valley Ozark, Pages 71 on 06/30/2011

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