SUCCULENCE! Fantasy Blends with Reality in intimate views of succulents by acrylic contemporary fine artist, Sandi Whetzel, this July at DIVA, the Eugene, OR Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts in the Membership Gallery, one of six galleries at DIVA.

This lively collection of acrylic paintings celebrates luscious, stimulating colors, graceful lines, textures and intriguing motifs inspired by the artist's fascination with organic shapes in the world of succulents. Her art embraces and explores the nuances in shapes, patterns and color drawn from the plant world. Seventeen intimately cropped succulents are generously spaced along six white walls of the space devoted to Sandi's exhibit and two succulent paintings are mounted in the lobby entrance to DIVA. Many of her paintings in this exhibit feature very tactile textures and a couple of them are quite 3-dimensional. All nineteen paintings have brilliant chromas and graceful curvy lines in common.

Whetzel makes her home in Days Creek, Oregon in the southern part of the state. For the past twelve years she has been instructing Community Education art classes for Umpqua College in Roseburg, OR. Recently she has exhibited twice at the Coos Art museum in Coos Bay, the 2009 Inaugural National Art Exhibit in Gold Beach, OR, the Jacobs Gallery at the Eugene Hult Center in 2008 and solo exhibits at the Umpqua Valley Arts Association in Roseburg over the last few years.

Whetzel's painting design, Wine on the Vine II, won DIVA's Art Pour Favor competition for the Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 wine label gracing a special bottling of the wine for DIVA fundraisers in 2009. The Oregon Glide Wildflower Society selected her image of the Oregon Grape to promote the premiere Wildflower Show held in April 2009. Sandi is best known for her use of vibrant color and graceful shapes inspired from the plant world as well as her signature pieces to promote the wine industry in Oregon.

The opening reception for Sandi's exhibit at DIVA, 110 W Broadway, is Friday, July 3, 2009 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The event is a part of Eugene's First Friday Artwalk. Typically, the first Friday of each month is devoted to the "First Friday ArtWalk" in downtown Eugene. The public is invited to tour several art galleries, see diverse art and enjoy meeting the artists and community leaders at the receptions as they stroll the comfortable distance between art exhibits. For more information regarding the details of the featured stops of the First Friday ArtWalk, hosted by Jeff Geiger, the Artistic Director of NO Shame Theatre of Eugene, click here .

Whetzel's Succulence! Fantasy Blends with Reality solo art exhibit is on display at DIVA from July 3 through August 1st, 2009. Regular gallery hours at DIVA are Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 6 pm. For more information about DIVA click here

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