The October art exhibit at Maxwell Memorial Library in Camillus will reach out and grab you with imagery, colors and stories jumping off the canvas.
"Colores de Mexico" is a joint exhibit by Tompkins County artists Jackie Mott Brown, Geraldine Keil and Denise Kooperman. They will show their Mexico-inspired artworks Oct. 2 through 29 at Maxwell Library in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15). Brown will hold a workshop on one of her favorite art styles, the Mexican retablo, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10.
Brown, who lives in Ithaca but spends summers on Skaneateles Lake, started painting in her fifth decade. Now in her seventh, she immerses herself in a variety of artistic endeavors, including painting, writing, and facilitating creativity workshops. She spent a year in Mexico as a teenager and two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. Several of her paintings in the library exhibit are in the retablo style, a term for a Latin American devotional painting that's a primitive, folk derivation of traditional Catholic church art.
"The Storm," one retablo to be on display, tells a story in pictures and words of three Mexicans who become trapped in a river during a storm but are guided to safety by Santa Prisca, whom the men see in a vision. Brown's retablos are painted with acrylic on wood.
Keil has traveled frequently into Mexico, where she relishes the warmth of the people as much as of the sun and beaches. "Recuerdo de El Cuyo" portrays a Yucatan fishing village in seashells, and the painting "Mariachi Constellation" shows a dizzyingly starlit sky. But she also has observed changes in the Mexican culture over time, not all of them positive, and she depicts them with collage and mixed media in works such as "Pyramid Scheme."