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Double art exhibition to be featured at Ligonier gallery

| Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, 9:04 p.m.

Slated to open Feb. 15, Allegory Galley is featuring a double artist exhibition at the gallery.

Local artist and Ligonier resident Elise Wells will present a show titled “Alchemy'”and Delaware-based mixed media artist Jenny Davies-Reazor will present “Mythic Nature.”

“Both artists use their artwork to explore the mysteries of the human experience and tap into iconic archetypal imagery,” said fellow artist and the gallery's co-owner Andrew Thornton. Elise Wells of Ligonier said she finds inspiration for her work in American history.

“Stories about folklore, Indians and the Wild West just give me visual images to work with,” said Wells, who has been expressing herself through her art since she was a teenager.

Recently, she has been working with different textures such as muslin, leather and horse hair. “These types of material already come with a history,” she added.

Her work is often traditional black and white drawings — “Drawing is assessable and immediate,” Wells said, “Its art in its simplest form.” Her work usually reflects images in their true to life size.

For her show on the project wall, Wells was asked to provide smaller pieces.

“It's been a good challenge for me to have restrictions,” she said.

Thornton said he finds “Alchemy” to be an apt title for her show, as her work captures the energy of transformation.

“Elise's style is haunting and ethereal, almost like a memory made of fog,” said Thornton. “She marries shadowy pencil lines, wet, loose brush strokes and stark collage elements, to create pieces that are infused with a sense of something forming — something becoming solid.”

Wells said she has a lot of creative outlets in her life — such as drawing, cooking and teaching.

She is a local guest chef at Connections Cafe in Ligonier. On Wednesday evenings, she and her sister, Reda Wigle, uses their creative talents to prepare unique dishes for “Wigle Sister Wednesdays” at the restaurant.

“If I can't do art, I cook,” she said. “I feel the need to be productive and do something creative.”

Wells loves having opportunities to do so in her hometown.

“I don't want to have to go to Pittsburgh or New York to see good art or eat good food,” said Wells. “I believe in keeping cool stuff in our town. And I'm very excited about showing my work at Allegory Gallery.”

Jennifer Davies-Reazor, presenting “Mystic Nature,” said she is thrilled to be exhibiting her work at the gallery.

Davies-Reazor is a mixed media artist who draws her inspiration from mythology, folklore and the natural world. She will be exhibiting primarily mixed media collages, and several pieces of jewelry.

“I strive to remind people of the magic that gets lost in the day to day,” said Davies-Reazor. “I am fascinated by myths and archetypes that span diverse cultures and illuminate shared aspects of our human nature. Many of my pieces are shrines of a sort – to elevate an object, to remind one of the mystery/poetry/symbolism that lies within.”

Davies-Reazor taught art and ceramics in Maryland public schools for 12 years before she took the leap to becoming a full-time freelance artist.

“As a full time artist, I have the chance to explore diverse media in depth and the versatility to apply a wide range of these techniques to my work,” she said.

Thornton said he finds Davies-Reazor's style to be richly layered, like a sturdy tapestry.

“Jenny mixes layers of ephemera, pattern and symbolic color to embody mythology and mysticism, creating (sometimes quite literally) shrines.”

Davies-Reazor has shown her work for years in Delaware but said she is happy to exhibit her work and enjoy the creative space that is Allegory Gallery.

“We are excited to celebrate the work of both artists,” Thornton said of the upcoming opening. “It should be a fun event and a great way to show support for the arts in Ligonier.”

Additionally, corresponding with the event, Connie Parsons Hall of Sarah Aston Designs will be hosting a special Mid-Winter Trunk Show in Second Chapter Books, which shares the building with Allegory Gallery.

The artist, who is a fixture at the Ligonier Country Market, will be offering up a selection of handcrafted jewelry items at discount prices from 5 - 8 p.m.

Cami DiBattista is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.