Rhian Swain in front of her painting of Louise Bourgeios. Francie Klopotic/Augusta Good News
Rhian Swain in front of her painting of Louise Bourgeios. Francie Klopotic/Augusta Good News

About Town with Francie – Breaking the Barriers

(Disclaimer: Any opinion expressed in this column is that of its author.)

(Featured photo is of Rhian Swain standing in front of her portrait of Louise Bourgeois. Photo by Francie Klopotic)

If someone were to ask you to name some famous female artists, how many would you be able to recall?

Before Saturday, March 25, it would have been hard for me to count more than just a few. Breaking the Barriers, a solo art exhibition by local artist Rhian Swain, answered that question for me through the many portraits that adorned the walls. They were paintings portraying women artists, many of whom I’d never met until the day of the reception.

At the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, Rhian hosted an artist reception for her solo art show, Breaking the Barriers, in the museum’s conference room. This show celebrated women artists and their contributions to the art world throughout the ages. It was a beautiful and educational show.

Read More: Females at center of art exhibition

Rhian’s portraits included those of iconic legends Kara Walker, Georgia O’Keefe, Frida Kahlo and Yayoi Kusama. Colorful and bold, each painting burst with bright colors and delicious textures. The techniques Rhian used in painting these pieces created a depth that drew the viewer in. The details asked me to linger, and linger I did.

Staci Swider and Lillie Morris stand in front of the portraits painted by Rhian Swain. Photo courtesy Rhian Swain

The community came out to support Rhian with visitors filling the conference room as the reception began. Rhian opened an art talk, welcoming guests and introducing herself and her artwork. Joining her at the front of the room were Lillie Morris and Staci Swider, both nationally known local artists, who participated in a panel discussion. Rhian asked the two questions about their artistic lives and the women spoke on how they came into the arts, giving a brief insight into their artistic histories.

At the end of the panel discussion, Rhian thanked the audience for their attendance and proceeded to share that she is taking her show on the road, using her artwork to educate others and to help open their eyes to the role women artists have played throughout the centuries. Her desire is to teach people, youth included, that women have a place in the arts. She even created a coloring book to share with local youth. The coloring book contained images created by Rhian of the artists she featured in her show. Breaking the Barriers is a show to see, so keep your eyes open for future dates.

In addition to the many hats she wears as owner of RedWolf Advertising, Rhian Swain also creates original art for her clients. She is open for commissions and can be contacted via her website, www.redwolfadvertising.com.

The Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History is a treasured Augusta historic landmark. The museum offers monthly community luncheons featuring special guest speakers. Learn more about the museum at www.lucycraftlaneymuseum.com.

Columnist Francie Klopotic can be found about the town attending concerts, arts exhibitions and almost any event highlighting Augusta’s cultural offeringsSubscribe to the Augusta Good News newsletter here.

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