Russellville artist Beth Whitlow will showcase her exhibit, "Speak to Me," in the University of the Ozarks' Stephens Gallery from Feb. 4 to March 8 as part of the university's Artist of the Month Series.
There will be a reception to meet the artist from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center.
Whitlow said being a dog lover inspired the artwork in her exhibit, which she described as a whimsical representation of the average house dog’s fantasies.
"Speak to Me focuses on the juxtaposition of the fantasy world and reality, while providing a refreshing commentary on the canine intellect," she said. "Using the glamour of fashion to represent each dog’s personality, the works show the unspoken expectations house pets must have by how they are treated as equals in our families."
"I hope for this collection to put a smile on your face," she added.
Whitlow, who earned a bachelor’s of arts degree from the University of Arkansas, said the richness of oil paint "allows for a variation of textures, such as fur, silk, velvet, and feathers, and creates a striking contrast between light and dark."
"The whimsical portraits are light-hearted social satires on the everyday house pet and how they often reflect humankind," Whitlow explained.
Whitlow began oil painting in the summer of 2010 under the instruction of Sarah Keathley.
"When I met my husband, I was overtaken with the amount of love he has for animals," Whitlow said. "I began to understand that each dog has a personality and a way of connecting with us that surpasses language. This continues to be a driving force in my life."
Whitlow and her husband, Josh, live in Russellville with their four dogs. She is a member and chief blogger of the Lemley House Art Guild. Her work has been featured in the Downtown Art Walk in Russellville as well as the Russellville River Valley Arts Center.
The Stephens Gallery is open to the public throughout the week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no cost for admission. For more information, contact 979-1349.
Sadie and Lola are two of the paintings by Russellville artist Beth Whitlow that will be featured in the exhibit “Speak to Me,” which will be displayed throughout February in the Stephens Art Gallery.