Recently I interviewed the artist behind 8th Street Up Close, Lenore DePree. Her artwork was featured at the Holland Area Arts Council on June 23.
The first thing I asked her was her history behind her love for art, and the answer I received was amazing.
She discovered her passion for art when she was twelve years old, a Chicago kid living as an only child in the Kentucky Mountains. As a child, she attended a one-room school house for education while living in Kentucky, but school was not where she found that passion.
She mentioned to me that her grandfather was a portrait artist, however he passed before she was born. However, it was her grandmother that pointed out the artistic potential she saw in her. Her grandmother mentioned, after seeing some of her drawings, that she had the talent. Lenore was then given a set of oil colors and it took off from there.
By age 17, she had published a book and was painting and selling commercially. Lenore described to me that art is three leaves of the same flower: writing, painting and music. They are all ways to express yourself.
Flash forward to her most recent work. Lenore said that 8th street chose her. In April 2014, she was given a place as an artist resident at the Holland Area Arts Council and spent the next two years working on this series.
It was very concentrated work, and she would spend as much as four hours each day on her pieces. She would photograph different buildings and locations on 8th street and then would begin to paint. The point of it was to celebrate Holland and to have something very authentic to represent it.
I absolutely loved spending time getting to know this wonderful artist, and her work is something very amazing to see. She mentioned how she plans to paint local beaches next, so hopefully that will be something to look forward to seeing soon!
When the Holland Area Arts Council was just beginning, -- before we even had a building -- the organization leaders started a newsletter called Artline. In the spirit of our rich history, the Arts Council's new blog is titled Artline.