Creative Explosions - ​Second Saturday Soiree
​Art Connections Gallery, 123 N Main St., La Grange

Bathed In The Glow - Holly Hunter Berry


​Does is sometimes seem that winter lacks color and excitement? After the sparkly and glitter of the holidays and before the beauty of spring, things in January and February may seem just a little dull. The show for Art Connection Gallery’s February Second Saturday Soiree will lift your spirits with the dynamic, colorful, and energy filled pieces by artists C. Aliah of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Holly Hunter Berry of Houston, Texas.

Born in Houston, artist C. Aliah still loves her Texas roots. After attending art schools there including Glassell School of Art and the High School for Performing and Visual Arts, she credits her greatest works of art to date to be her daughters and the students who have been shaped by her love for influencing change through art education. She was and still is sharing through her work the conversations and influences that came from her own family: both biological parents were musicians (strings vs horns), they were of different races (Black Creole vs Anglo Saxon) and from different locations (the Midwest vs the South). ​Added influences are from her Texas dad who was a poet and printer and her husband who is from Louisiana. Conversations from her Pulitzer Prize nominated grandmother, who subsequently started Houston’s first African American Museum of Art, led her to exposure to many cultural inspirations such as the Buffalo Soldier. The artist states, “The immediacy of family and extended family, fed the expansions of my curiosity. Therefore, I not only became versed in the visual, but also performance art (violin, dance, and theatre). All of my work pays homage to those things that have influenced my creativity: cowboys, music, Louisiana living, religion, children, and intentional details.” She is inspired by antique photographs, Christian Orthodox iconography, rural life, Creole culture, personal struggles, and kids.

Holly Hunter Berry of Houston, says “In life we have those moments that we look back on and realize they are part of defining who we are today.” One such moment for Holly was when she declared that instead of continuing as an accountant, interior designer, property manager or realtor she would pursue her passion as a fine artist. “WOW!, talk about the ‘road with caution traveled’.” Determined to conquer this mysterious calling she added years of studies with several master artists to her education from formal academics. Representational, impressionist, colorist, and expressionist have all been terms used to define her work at various times. She continues to grow and push herself to explore new and fresh approaches to communicating her message. The inspirations for the collection to be presented at the gallery are landscapes she has experienced but choose to express in a view different from what is “natural color”. Vibrant hues and expressive brushwork capture some of nature’s quiet moments with a gently twist of the color wheel to suggest a new way to look at our environment, allowing a moment to pause and notice more than the usual green tree.

This show will be featured for a month following the opening reception on Saturday, February 9, from 4-7pm.

Gustave's Peacock Takes Flight - C. Aliah