Love is in the air at the NOTO Art Center.
During the month of February, the art center’s new exhibit, “Art from the Heart,” will be on display in the Morris Gallery. It includes pieces from a variety of artists and businesses located in the arts district.
The exhibit opened Friday and will be up until the end of February. The art center, located at 935 N. Kansas Ave., is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Artists who have pieces in the show include Gwen McClain; Barbara Waterman-Peters, owner of Studio 831; Larry Peters; Kathy Pflaum; Lisa Underwood, owner of Glass Station; Michaela Butterworth; Dave and Gloria Horn, owners of Donaldson’s Jewelers; and Denise Selbee-Koch and Jennifer Woerner, owners of Compass Point.
The artwork that is part of the exhibit is mainly small pieces of work that “somebody could take as a forever valentine,” according to Staci Dawn Ogle, NOTO’s program and communications coordinator.
“We also included our businesses down here in the district so they could submit anything if they wanted, too,” Ogle said. “We try to do that every so often, give them a chance. We do have some creative individuals, but they tend to not share their artwork regularly.”
Photographs taken by Steve Stutzman, owner of Stutzman Leather, and Selbee-Koch are on display in the gallery.
Waterman-Peters, who helped hang the exhibit, has an oil-on-paper piece in the exhibit that she created several years ago.
“I didn’t have a piece that had hearts or any kind of romantic connotation, but I thought that the red flowers were kind of (romantic) because of their shapes,” Waterman-Peters said. “It’s got dramatic lighting in it.”
Waterman-Peters said installing the show, with the assistance of McClain, proved to be a challenge because of the small pieces of artwork that were submitted.
“When you have a fairly good-sized gallery, little pieces can get lost on the wall,” Waterman-Peters said. “So I tended to cluster them, and it turned out well because we have some beautiful photographers and mixed media pieces. It turned out to be an eclectic show.”
The intimacy of the exhibit’s scale makes the show unique and draws viewers in, Waterman-Peters said.
“When works are small, it tends to pull the viewer in to examine the work more closely which is a good thing,” Waterman-Peters said. “You can’t take it in from 5 feet away. You’re pulled into what’s called a private read — it’s like reading a book or looking at your phone. You have to get up close to it and so that way there can be more of a conversation between the viewer and the work, which is kind of nice.
“When artwork is large, you can get way back and have fun with it, enjoy it. But when it’s really small, it almost becomes more powerful because of the fact that it pulls you in. You feel the need to get close to it.”