Artists, artists, everywhere, and in Brandon, they’re offering unique and creative interpretations of water.

In the Brandon Artists Guild’s latest exhibit, more than 40 of its member artists are participating in a year of nature-themed exhibits, the latest of which is “The Art of Water,” which is up through Aug. 28. A public opening reception will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 28.

“It challenges us when we’re asked to go to a theme because it may take us in a direction we would not have gone otherwise,” artist Judith Reilly said. “A lot of artists will do a play on a theme rather than something literal. We call it fun, but other people call it very thought-provoking.”

Reilly is also the chairwoman of the committee that hangs the shows at Brandon Artists Guild, an artist-run gallery celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with all-member all-media shows. But, “Like the previous shows in the series, there’s a lot of diversity and energy,” photographer and BAG member Lowell Klock said.

“The Art of Water” is the third in a series of four nature-themed shows — earth, wood, water and fire.

“What I’m most pleased about is the participation of so many of our artists,” Reilly said. “They’re very much enjoying the process and excited to have a new piece of work in a gallery exhibit every two months.”

“And it’s fun for the viewer to come in every two months to see what we’re up to,” she added, “and to follow a favorite artist and see how they interpreted the theme.”

Reilly’s piece in the show is still under construction. As a fabric artist, the challenge to portray water in 100% cotton goes beyond just finding the right shade of blue.

“If I was a painter I could just put down the colors but as a fabric artist who sews I have to take out the stitches and start all over,” she explained. “But it’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy this medium.”

Her piece is her own spin on “The Owl and the Pussycat,” which she described as being about 8 by 12 inches, made from a half dozen different fabrics sewn to look like water.

“They flow over each other, so I can incorporate different images,” Reilly explained. “It makes it whimsical, it doesn’t answer to reality at all, which is really fun. I like it representational. My work is not literal and there is a wonderful sense of freedom with that. And it’s a nice juxtaposition to a lot of the serious pieces that will be in the exhibit as well.”

Reilly says her favorite part of the all-member shows is to see what each artist brings in the day the show is hung. They don’t know ahead of time, and she hopes those who visit will have that same anticipation, “Let’s see what they did this time.”

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