Imagine walking through the Moorestown Library front doors into its crisp white lobby, heading left to enter the library and then bearing to your right where a line of unique artistic pieces will enter your vision. The art will include varying media from fabric to painting to glass, all put together in different forms, from traditional to abstract. However, there is no need to imagine these pieces, as they are a reality.
The Moorestown Library’s feature artist this month is 40-year resident Ellen Barnett, with her show called “Imaginings: A Mixed Media Show,” being showcased until June 30. Barnett’s pieces are all made with a unique style and in many mediums, all put together from her imagination, she said. “Imaginings” is free and open to the public during library hours. There will also be a reception on June 8 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“I think the word imagining (when I do my art). I imagine I see things and imagine them in the paintings … I hope my work inspires people,” Barnett said.
Barnett, the former owner of the former consignment shop Nifty Thrifty and a teacher at Perkins Center for the Arts, has been an artist for years. Her love for art started when she was young, watching her father copy figures from the kitchen wallpaper. She thought it was magical and still views making art as a spiritual experience.
“It’s healing, enriching and a significant part of my life,” Barnett said.
Barnett went to a high school of arts and music in New York and earned a bachelor’s of fine arts degree from Rutgers University and a master’s of fine arts degree in book arts/printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She exhibits at local art shows and has received many awards.
Barnett is a mixed media artist using mediums such as handmade paper, found objects, acrylics, pastel, printmaking, watercolor, ceramics and most recently fabric. She said she was really inspired when she spent a year in Japan and learned about the printmaking process there and painting on different materials. No matter what media she works in, though, what seems to be created is a work dominated by texture, pattern and design with a touch of imagination.
“I’m interested in materials and often mix them together,” Barnett said.
Barnett has been featured at the Moorestown Library before. Due to the success of her first show, she was asked to come back and have her worked featured again.
Barnett hopes those who come to the show recognize other materials can be used as artwork and are inspired to create their own art. Barnett believes anything can be a piece of art.
“I hope (my art) would encourage people to do more artwork, if they are interested, or take a class. I think that everything we look at is really art, from utensils to dishes; everything around us is art,” Barnett said.
Barnett will be at the June 8 reception to talk about her art with interested visitors. She will also be displaying her alcohol ink tiles for purchase, a new medium she has been working with that is applied to non-porous surfaces and spreads into abstract forms. There will also be light refreshments for everyone to enjoy.
All of Barnett’s pieces at the library will be available to purchase. To get in contact with her, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.