Kallet announces new exhibit beginning April 11

The Kallet Civic Center

The Griffing Gallery of the Kallet Civic Center in Oneida will be displaying watercolors by local artist Jana Kolowrat Laxa beginning April 11, 2017. The exhibit will run through the second week of May. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Laxa emigrated in 1968 from Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) with her family and settled in Massachusetts. With her roots deeply set in old Europe, love for tradition and fine arts have never left her. She has experienced not only changes in the culture of times, but also the culture of two countries.also the culture of two countries.

In her teens, she was the painter for the family’s business – decorating plaster replicas of gingerbread cookies. After graduating from Belmont High School, Jana attended the Massachusetts College of Art for two years.

While raising a family, Laxa concentrated on the European style of reverse glass painting using acrylic paints. In 1995, she moved to Hamilton, resumed her college education at Colgate University, and received a BFA in painting from Syracuse University in 2003. It was at this time Jana started to experiment with watercolors. Her goal was to illustrate the children’s stories her mother wrote. By using delicate watercolors Laxa hoped to capture the tales’ ephemeral quality.

Laxa has shown her paintings at the Syracuse Stage Gallery, Stanley Theater’s Red Room Gallery, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Gallery, the Kirkland Art Center, Hamilton Library, MAD Art in Hamilton, the New Woodstock Library, Manlius Public Library, Onondaga Library Gallery, St. Peter’s Church in Cazenovia, View Gallery in Old Forge, the Broad Street Gallery in Hamilton, and at The Colgate Inn.

Over the past several years Laxa has attended many watercolor classes and workshops, and is especially grateful for the insights of Ralph Murray, Eric Wiegardt, Frank Webb, John Salminen, Sterling Edwards, Jean Grasdorf, Ratindra Das, Katherine Kernan, Barbara Kellogg, Drayton Jones, and Tom McCobb. Laxa has taught art at a local correctional facility and is teaching watercolor in Hamilton. She is active in the Cazenovia Watercolor Society and is a signature member of the Central New York Watercolor Society.

Laxa feels fortunate to live in a small town surrounded by fields, woods, and brooks – with undisturbed natural color and beauty. For the past several years she has been able to travel to her homeland and other countries, reexamining her love of the charming small villages with their churches and medieval buildings. While traveling, Laxa enjoys sketching and photographing scenes for later use in her studio. In Hamilton, she enjoys capturing the beautiful landscape around the village and Colgate University.

As her subject matter and Laxa’s style continue to evolve, she maintains a central goal: to capture the viewer’s attention through beauty, using techniques which include the unpredictable blends of color this medium offers.

The public is invited to attend a reception to meet the artist Friday evening, April 21, from 6 to 8 p.m.

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