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Artist Believes Art Is A Power For Good

The latest exhibition in the Joe McCauley Gallery at Heartland Community College features works by an artists whose brand is Romance, and who believes that art and beauty have the power to evoke change.

The Incurable Romantic is the name of Michele Peterson’s latest show, and it’s evident not only in the works she creates, but in the passion and the philosophy she brings to her creative process.  

“It’s a philosophy of life that deals with life on a level that’s seen in not this hard edged way of aggressiveness,” explained Peterson. “I find that life can be aggressive, and I’m always yielding more to a kind, softer place to work with life and look at it in a more philosophical and spiritual bent.”

“It’s not anything that has a nostalgia to it or a weakness to it. It’s just a way that I deal with life. And the image and the means of expression is, for me, an outlet that healthy and cathartic.”

Peterson’s work on canvas and wood panels includes oils, graphite, pastels, gold leaf and more in depicting still life works that include serene landscapes, flowers, and stylish and feminine dresses. The show has a strong feminine pulse.

Credit Laura Kennedy / WGLT
There's a strong feminine feel to Peterson's works.

“All of my work does,” said Peterson. “I’m a female, I’m an artist and this is what I’m doing. I own it. This is what’s coming through and this is what I love.”

Peterson’s philosophy is that art is a power for good.

“The concept of beauty and the power of beauty is very important. That’s a theme in my work. There’s all different types of art, and my work is just a tiny sliver of the whole pie of art. There are people who are doing political art, which is wonderful and necessary to show what’s happening in the world. But my art is about showing the grace and the beauty there. Hopefully, when looking at the art, you would also look inside, and then try to mirror that in your own life.”

The Incurable Romantic continues at the Joe McCauley Gallery at Heartland Community College through Sept. 29.

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Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.