On Saturday, July 16, from 4-7 p.m., the Banning Art Gallery, 42 W. Ramsey St., will host a grand opening reception at the downtown gallery next to the new Jitterz Cafe. This two-artist exhibition will feature the fine basketry of Fran DeVries and the inspiring paintings of artist Lindy Ballard.
“They are two of our most popular artists,” said Jackie Atwood, president of the Col Cultural Alliance, which runs the gallery. “Fran is an exquisite creator of intricately carved baskets that are beautiful in both form and function, and Lindy has a distinctive style in her warm, cheerful cityscapes. This will be one of our biggest shows this year. “
Fran DeVries considers herself a city girl who went country when she moved to Banning. After retiring from Redlands ESRI, Fran heard the stories of native basket weavers who resided in the pass. Following her new “peasant” heart, she began her self-taught journey to learn traditional basketry techniques. Her painstaking work begins with harvesting pine needles found in the wild, dipping them in glycerin, visualizing its color patterns, and collecting special embellishments to add texture and artistry.
A true expert in her craft, she follows the path of artisans – bowing to the marriage of function and form, using San Gorgonio pine for her many gifts.
“I’m honored to continue this Native American tradition, where native traditions used real tendons, I use the humble pine needles from the collar,” says Fran.
Lindy Ballard has created art of one kind or another all her life. Winner of numerous awards, it has attracted collectors across the country. He is known for his large canvases with surprising interpretations of colors such as red clouds, blue trees and purple mountains. Lindy is often inspired by an actual location, but usually reinterprets a photo or memory with her “bustling city” style, engaging the viewer in blurred shapes, angles, and unique views of architecture. Lindy says it’s “living its best life” with a warm city vibe that presents a cheerful sense of chaos in what would otherwise be an everyday sight.
The Banning Art Gallery has been in the same commercial block in downtown Banning for over a decade. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is a cooperative membership gallery made up of volunteers who support the mission of the Cultural Alliance of the Pass by “connecting communities through the arts”. They support market nights, local businesses, income generation for artists, banning events and are in demand for their focus on encouraging the creative spark in our young people. The Young Artists Workshops (YAW) are held on Saturdays all year round by volunteer professional artists. Special programs for young people combining the visual arts and the written word will begin in the fall in the form of “Story Telling” courses for children. For more information about the Banning Cultural Alliance, email [email protected] or call (951) 849-3993.