TIFTON — Rock the Block gets an artistic twist in the Historic District this weekend at Plough Gallery. The contemporary fine art and craft shop will host “Painters on the Porch” this Sat. June 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Featured artists Sean P. Callahan and Elizabeth St. Hilaire, from Key West and Orlando respectively, will demonstrate watercolor, acrylic and collage painting. Children 15 years and under can work alongside the artists with free materials provided by the gallery.

Inside, a collection of Callahan’s work is on display. His exhibition, “Platform” features watercolor figures painted onto old postcards and letters. In one, a swimsuit clad diver is captured mid jump as a second diver prepares to leap from the tip of a swordfish.

Callahan owns and operates Dog Tired Studio in Key West, FL. On his website, he explained that after a health scare, he began painting with renewed passion.

“I was told I did not have much time here and so I started studying and creating with a fury because I wanted to leave something behind,” he wrote. “I have reached that goal and surpassed anything I could have ever dreamed….thousands of paintings later I am still here and paint with the same fury as I did in the beginning of this journey.”

He stated that he is inspired by the vibrant light and color in the Key West. His artwork has oceanic and wildlife themes, and occasionally drifts towards the surreal, like a scuba diver being dwarfed by a massive fish whose head barely fits into the frame of the image. Callahan also does pet portraiture in addition to hosting workshops, classes and running his studio.

Joining him on the porch is acrylic and collage artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire. Hilaire combines acrylic and collage work. On her website, she offers insight on her process.

She begins with a sketch and acrylic underpainting where the subject of the painting and general color scheme is drafted. Then she uses a collection of collage paper, which she has painted, stamped and designed, to add dimension and texture. The underpainting is nearly covered by layers of carefully placed paper.

Saturday, she will demonstrate her layering process on a canvas featuring a curious Dalmatian.  

Owners Mark Errol and Glenn Josey have hosted “Potters on the Porch” several times throughout the gallery’s existence at the Eighth Street location, but they wanted to add a new variation to the event. Both believe that hosting public, free demonstrations like this is important for the community.

“Communities grow when information is shared and people can connect to something,” said Errol. “We at Plough Gallery have chosen art to share with our community because it is for everyone no matter their color, race, religion or age. We want to allow others the ability to come together without worry in a comfortable environment and art does that.”

Plough Gallery is located at 218 Eighth St. W. More of Callahan’s work can be found online at dogtiredstudio.net. Hilaire’s work and her demonstration videos can be seen on her website at www.paperpaintings.com.

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