From the desert to the sea: work by two artists – one whose paintings feature nature scenes while the other’s work captures the American West – was showcased during an artists’ reception at the Orland Art Center gallery on Friday. 

Judi Forney and Ken Moore, Sr., were at the gallery to talk to reception attendees while Veronica Wiedeman performed on the gallery’s baby grand piano – treats were also provided by the Tau Alpha Sorority.

Rae Turnbull, gallery director, said artists are selected based on their professionalism and quality of their work.

“We want to serve the community by having top artists, including local, regional and nationally known,” Turnbull said. 

She said both Forney and Moore participated in the last group show – which features submitted pieces – and thought they would do well with an invitational show, too.  

Twenty-year-old Wiedeman has been performing at the art center for about seven years but has been playing the piano since she was 4 years old.

“I’m pretty introverted so it was another way to express my emotions (and) feelings. It’s also something that relieves stress,” Wiedeman said. “... I think (the Orland Art Center) is a wonderful place. I love the art every time.”

Judi Forney

Forney recreates nature – such as ocean views and mountain scenes – in her work.

“It’s all about nature … I want the peace and tranquility of nature surrounding me and also reproducing it in my paintings so it can surround someone else that’s viewing it,” Forney said. 

She said she also works with the surreal. 

“My motto is creating art that connects to spirit,” Forney said. “... Surreal is really stretching your imagination and a lot of times if I’m meditating I receive images and I paint those images.”

Ken Moore, Sr. 

Moore’s paintings capture the Western landscape along with working cowboys and Native Americans, he said. 

“My grandfather was Indian,” Moore said. “My dad had a cattle ranch and I was interested in both subject matters.”

Moore said he has stuck with this theme in part because “you don’t lose touch (with your roots).”

“I think your original interests don’t change, you just expand on it,” he said.

The current show and sale at the Orland Art Center is running now through March 21. The gallery will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1-6 p.m. during the show’s duration.

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