Not many 2-year-olds can stand tall enough to create a mural, but meet Alliance Art Gallery’s September guest artist Hannah Hollister Ingmire, who confidently uncorked lipstick onto her parents’ bedroom walls — not well received — to launch her artistic career. At five years old, her rendition of a tired little train chugging up a hill appeared in the Philadelphia Art Museum children’s exhibit. By sixth grade, Ingmire studied under Fritzi Morrison, of the American Watercolor Society. And by 1966, she had graduated from Grinnell College with an BFA in painting, going on to graduate work in fine arts at the University of Iowa.
In exhibitions and juried art festivals nationwide, Ingmire’s work resides in businesses, civic institutions and private homes. A member of the Columbia Art League with a studio at Orr Street Studios, she exhibits and teaches in Columbia, Mo.
“Today,” she said, “I am moving more into experiments with mediums. I teach three classes on ‘spontaneous art’ — those are my words. I believe that as children our creativity comes naturally but we often tend to lose that spontaneity as we grow up and adapt to society’s norms. I encourage my students to find their natural creativity by experimenting.
”We use many new colors and mediums made by Golden paints and Liquitex. We explore how to use fluid acrylics and thick-bodied paint, and introduce mediums such as pebbles, leaves and twigs, shells, glass and semiprecious stones to get three-dimensional textures.”
In her own creations, Ingmire starts from a watercolor-as-background beginning.
“I begin very non-objectively. As I go along, I start seeing something in it,” she said.
The interaction between artist, instinct and response starts to unfold. She allows composition, color and the addition of medium to explore one another, pulling effects out, guided by her intuitive sense of where a painting begins, and where it ends. One could say she began as an instinctual artist — with a tube of lipstick in her hand. From that unconventional medium to today’s creations, the results are vibrant and multi-textured, hovering between realism and abstraction, inviting you into your own instinctual world.
The Alliance Gallery featured member artist, Rebecca Butler, was born and raised in the Quincy/Hannibal area. She received her BFA from Quincy University, where she now teaches ceramics.
Butler works in many media, with concentrations in silk painting and clay. Butler’s clay pieces are hand built, using texture as part of the design.
“I love the lumps and bumps that a lot of potters see as imperfections. I use them to my advantage and change the design to accommodate nature.” Drawing on her attraction to history, Butler finds herself incorporating an ancient Egyptian decorating technique. Using a clay slip, she draws henna designs onto her pottery.
Her finished works combine function and beauty. From soft blue swirls to bold reds and oranges, from rectangular tray to irregular-edged platter, the uniqueness of each piece invites the viewer into a world of an artist who truly loves and cherishes the feel of clay beneath her fingers.
In May 2016, Butler opened the Budding Artist in Quincy, Ill. This combination art gallery and art school offers opportunities for artists of all ages and expertise to create in clay, painting and other mediums.
An opening reception celebrating both artists will be 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9. A piece of Butler’s pottery will be given away in a free drawing at 6 p.m. The reception coincides with Hannibal’s Second Saturday Gallery Night.
For more information, visit Alliance Art Gallery at allianceartgallery.com or call 573-221-2275.
— By Bella Erakko