Exploring the River Region is a solo exhibition of oil paintings by local artist June Klement. This showcase features both plein-air and studio paintings that depict the beauty of Augusta’s waterways and landscapes. These works utilize warm and inviting colors, giving the sense of peace. Thoughts of warm summer days, with the sweet sounds of cicadas singing, water splashing and gentle breezes through trees come to mind while viewing this body of work.
Plein Air Painting is the act of painting outdoors. This method was first used by the French most noteablly in the early 19th century when ready-made tube paints became widely available. These paints allowed for artists to work outside. Plein Air Painting allows artists such as June Klement to better capture the subtleties of nature’s changing seasons, weather and light.
June’s impressionistic style of lively, vibrant, and bold brushstrokes highlights the ephemerality of color and light through textures on canvas. She says: “…for to me, light represents joy and love of life. I use color to represent my feelings of a scene or landscape, but I don’t necessarily feel the need to reproduce the exact color I see. To me, color represents how I feel about a location or subject.”
This body of work is an excellent fit for Augusta’s spring season. It showcases the beauty of the transistion from the cool months into the warmer. The works themselves are a romantic portrayal of spring and summer in the south, with a focus on the Augusta River Region’s waters; lakes, rivers, ponds, streams.
There is something so special about being outdoors when the seasons begin to turn. The oranges and browns give way to greens. The array of colors that bloom in Augusta’s many flowers. The birds begin to sing, you’ll see the occasional rabbit hop from under a bush across your lawn, which in turn shifts to the songs of the cicada in the late summer and the rabbits are replaced with the sounds of sprinklers and children laughing as they explore their backyards. This is all that June Klement experiences as she plein air paints around the Augusta River Region. She gathers up these sweet, soon to be nostalgic moments and paints with them, creating these beautiful works of art.
Augusta & Co. and the Greater Augusta Arts Council are happy to host these 23 paintings in our curated, “local artists only,” gallery in the back of the Augusta Welcome Center. It will be on display from April 29 – June 29, 2023.
A free opening artist’s reception will be held on Friday, April 14th from 4:00-6:00 PM. For more information, visit www.augustaarts.com/galleries .