Library pop-up gallery highlights local talent


Jackson County’s Public Library hosted a pop-up art gallery on Saturday.

This gallery was made possible by the members of Leadership Jackson County’s Art Team: Kristi Gray, Amanda Gee, Shaney Smith and Kyle Mcintosh.

Across the railroad tracks, food trucks were set up including The Rolling Pig Pin, Mark & Beth’s Smalltown Sweets, Humble Joe’s Coffee Co., Sno Biz/Pappy’s Street Food and GrillO’s Authentic Mexican Food.

Separate from the pop-up gallery, Youth with a Voice from Healthy Jackson County had a display as well. The ages for the artists ranged between 11-18 years old.

The theme for the artists to use was mental health. Artists portrayed various feelings that were attached to essays written by the individuals, describing what they had created.

Youth with a Voice was set up on the first floor of the library, observed upon walking through the front entrance. Upstairs is where the pop-up gallery was held.

While both of these displays were about artwork, they were still separate showcases. Since both organizations had their events coming together around the same time, they decided to put on both events at the same time and place.

In the room with the artwork, 21 artists were represented with three of those in the youth category and the remaining in adult. Each person who came to view the gallery had the opportunity to vote on one piece per category.

Mediums used in the gallery included glass, acrylic paint, digital art, wood, diamond painting and others.

Another highlight of the pop-up gallery included information on the Seymour Mural Walking Tour which looks at the John Mellencamp mural by Pamela Bliss, Seymour – The Crossroads of Southern Indiana mural by Kyle Mcintosh, the Try Seymour First mural by Michael Ferrarell and the Seymour Community Center mural by SHS art teacher Laurie Martin.

Around 11 p.m., Silas Cheo, 28, started live painting outside of the library. In his painting, he was capturing the landscape in front of him, including some of the library and other surrounding buildings. He used oils in browns and oranges for the underpainting.

Cheo is co-director at the Southern Indiana Center of the Arts (SICA). Workshops that Cheo offers at SICA include watercolor, pastel drawing and paper mache. SICA offers many events such as SICA Friday Night Live, other Saturday workshops and a summer camp. This year, the summer program’s theme is pioneer and the spots are all filled up.

Back in Maryland where he was born, Cheo picked up oil painting at the age of 12. There, he learned skills he could not have on his own at Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery. He learned initially from painting cows in the pasture, which has becoming a reoccuring subject he loves to paint. Although he was painting the environment in front of the library, Cheo said that his usual subjects tend to be surreal in nature.

“I like doing scenes from my head,” he said. Cheo enjoys painting made-up cities and environments as well as horses and trucks.

What Cheo enjoyed during his school years was taking art classes outside of school. “It didn’t feel like doing assignments,” he said.

Cheo attended Rhode Island School of Design. While he was nervous at first about an art school, Cheo ended up really enjoying his art school experiences.

To support SICA and the services they provide, Norah’s Vegetables is giving seedlings to help out. 100% of Norah’s Vegetables’ proceeds will be going towards art supplies and other things needed for SICA workshops.

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