Art pays tribute to cancer survivors
Shelli Partridge is an artist with a cause.
Partridge has two pieces on display at the Lawrence Arts Center as part of the exhibit series "Healing Through the Arts 2005: Surviving and Thriving."
The current exhibit honors cancers survivors.
Artists are breast cancer survivors or people who have family members who have been cancer sufferers. Partridge also said some artists simply want to give awareness to breast cancer.
Partridge, a 2001 Tonganoxie High School graduate, was 11 when her grandmother died from complications with lung cancer.
"I've had my own experiences with cancer in my family and it made me want to support the breast cancer awareness project," Partridge said.
The exhibit at the center, 940 N.H. in Lawrence, opened Oct. 5 and will close Oct. 31.
At the exhibit, Partridge is showing two pieces of a six-part series called "Myself: In and Out."
"The series symbolizes my growth as an adult and as a person over the last, I'd say, year," Partridge said.
She said her work was somewhat difficult to explain because she was an abstract expressionist. Her work is a mix of abstract and realism.
After high school, Partridge attended Baker University in Baldwin for two years before transferring to Johnson County Community College where she received an associate of arts degree.
She's currently attending cosmetology school in Shawnee.
"That's kind of my 'daytime job' because I'm a starving artist," Partridge said.
The Tonganoxie graduate would never have been an artist if it weren't for former THS art instructor Larry Percey, Partridge said.
"I owe everything to him," Partridge. "If it wasn't for him teaching me what I know, I wouldn't be an artist."
This month's show isn't Partridge's first, but it's her first outside of collegiate shows.
"I've sold artwork on the side to people I go to school with," Partridge said. "This is the first time I've sold my work and gotten it out there for people to buy.
"Let's put it this way, I've been on cloud nine for three weeks."
This month's show is Partridge's first "big" show. She hopes it's the first of many to come.
"I want to be big," Partridge said. "I want everyone to know my work, like my work."
The exhibit will run throughout October from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.