Caz Library to feature new 'Reflection' exhibit

Visitors to the Gallery at the Cazenovia Public Library can enjoy the exhibition "Reflections" by Jana Laxa from Feb. 1 to 28, during regular library hours.

In 1968, Laxa emigrated from Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) with her family and settled in Massachusetts. With her roots deeply set in old Europe, a love of tradition and fine arts has never left her. She has experienced not only changes in the culture of times, but also the culture of two countries. In her teens, she was the painter for the family's business, decorating plaster replicas of gingerbread cookies. After graduating form Belmont High School, Jana attended Massachusetts College of Art for two years.

While raising a family, Laxa concentrated on the traditional European style of Reverse Glass Painting using acrylics. In 1995, she moved to Hamilton and resumed her college education, receiving a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting from Syracuse University in 2003. It was at this time that she started to experiment with watercolors. Her goal was to illustrate her mother's delightful stories which needed delicate touch to capture the fairy tale's ephemeral quality.

Over the past several years, Laxa has attended many watercolor classes and workshops. She is especially grateful for all the techniques and critiques she received from Ralph Murray, Barbara Kellogg, and Katherine Kernan, "who have encouraged me to learn more about this difficult yet fascinating medium," Laxa said.

Recently, Laxa has taught art at a local correctional facility and is teaching watercolor for beginners in Hamilton. She has shown her paintings at the Storch Gallery, Syracuse Stage, Stanley Theater's Red Room Gallery, Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute Gallery, Kirkland Art Center, Hamilton Library, MAD Art in Hamilton, New Woodstock Library, Manlius Library, Onondaga Library Gallery and St. Peter's Church in Cazenovia.

"I feel fortunate to live in a small town surrounded by fields, woods and brooks - with undisturbed natural color and beauty," said Laxa. "And for the past several years, I have been able to travel to my homeland and other countries, reexamining my love of the charming small villages with their churches and medieval buildings. Many of these scenes I sketch and photograph for later use in my studio."

As the subject matter and Laxa's techniques continue to evolve, she maintains a central goal: to capture the viewer's attention through beauty and encourage engagement in the meaning of the work. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday Feb. 4 at the library.

For more information, call 655-9322 or visit cazenoviapubliclibrary.irg Laxa can be contacted at 824-8795 or janalaxa@gmail.com.

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