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The Odyssey: Watercolors by Karen Shea
Wednesday, Sept. 1 – Sunday, Oct. 17

Artist Karen Shea found inspiration in poetry for her watercolors that will be exhibited at the University of Virginia Art Museum. Inspired by Ezra Pound’s "Cantos" and Homer’s "Odyssey," both works about personal journeys, Shea created watercolor paintings rendered in cobalt and indigo blue in this exhibit, "The Odyssey: Watercolors by Karen Shea," curated by Eileen B. Mott.

The 22 works of varying sizes are enveloped by both a sense of mystery and stillness and, for the artist, exemplify the dichotomy between today’s fast-paced world and the quietude required in their making.

"After working in cobalt and indigo, I’ve come to the idea that our entire lives are surrounded by blue, "Shea said. "The cobalt blue of the day’s sky turns to indigo every night. The more I paint with these minimal materials the more I discover the vast complexity within simplicity."

Shea, a Charlottesville-based artist and teacher, studied at Cornell University, UCLA and UC-Berkeley. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows, including "IX Artists" at Les Yeux du Monde, Charlottesville; "Watercolor, USA 1996," Springfield Art Museum, Missouri; and "Art as Invocation," Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, Va. She is a fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, which is supported in part by U.Va. Arts$ and private donors. The exhibition was organized by the Museum of Fine Arts’ Statewide Exhibitions Program, and sponsored by The Council of the VMFA.