‘Whimsical Realism’ Transformed Photography at the Hoosier Artist Gallery


Anne Ryan Miller and Cheryl Ann Gregg ride horses together when they take a break from art.

In June, their art is presented at the Hoosier Artist Gallery in Nashville, a cooperative gallery with 21 members.

Gregg’s three horses, one of which rides on Miller, are a source of inspiration for Gregg’s works, which revolve around nature. She describes her paintings as “whimsical realism”.

Sometimes she paints from her photographs, but she can create a landscape only from memory.

“I saw a lot of landscapes,” she says. “I see them every day.”

"Oregon Beach Sunset" by Cheryl Gregg.

Gregg, who sold his farm flowers at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market for 17 years, no longer sells flowers. Instead, she now makes Eternal Wreaths (dried flowers that last) from her 7 acres of flora and fauna. A favorite everlasting flower is Gomphrena globosa, an edible plant with circus-colored gumball-like flowers.

“Most people don’t know about gomphrena,” she said. “Also, they feel dry even as they grow older.”

Miller, on the other hand, creates hanging stained glass windows and lamps as well as a type of art called transformed photography.

“When I was 10, I rode my bike everywhere,” she said. “I would always stop to look at the silhouettes of the trees against the sky.”

His transformed photos show exactly that, as the viewer sees the patterns created by clouds, limbs, leaves and light.

Miller works in a barn that has been converted into an art studio. Her husband’s grandfather, the famous landscape painter Dale Philip Bessire (1892-1974), was a founding member of the Brown County Art Gallery Association. He studied at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis under William Forsyth and moved to Nashville in 1914. He exhibited at both the Hoosier Salon and the Chicago Gallery Association.

The former Bessire apple orchard is now the property of Miller and her husband, her cowshed the workspace of Anne Miller. It’s a perfect match, as Anne Miller has been a nature lover “since before nature ‘became’”.

“Making art helps me realize how much I appreciate the planet we live on.”

Anne Ryan Miller poses with one of her stained glass creations.

Take-out chair, artist Carolyn Richard, reported that at the Art Walk on July 23 (4-7 p.m.), Ann Woods will be offering a mini-course on origami. Origami, artistic folding of paper, and often associated with ancient Japan, can refer to the whole art of folding. The gallery group plans to do things like a butterfly and a flower.

The artists presented by the gallery in July are Tom Lowe, cabinetmaker who makes puzzles, and Sandy Vanover, painter.

“I am happy to say that the gallery is doing well despite being closed for a few weeks and then operating on limited hours at the start of the pandemic,” said Richard.

More information

The Hoosier Artist Gallery is located at 45 S. Jefferson St., Nashville, 10 am to 5 pm daily. 812-988-6888; hoosierartist.net.

Find Cheryl Ann Gregg at wildwoodsstudio.com. Find Anne Ryan Miller Glass Studio at anneryanmillerglassstudio.com.

Stained glass window of a yellow iris by Anne Ryan Miller.


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