Artists share work with the public
by Hervey Folsom
Artists in Action
Jun 15, 2013 | 2352 views |  0 comments | 65 65 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tim Smith/Honor Photography
Tim Smith/Honor Photography
A showing of wildlife art and a sacred music concert by a violinist; these two things seem far apart. But Larry K. Martin and Lori Jean Smith, both featured this month on the entertainment calendar, find the same kind of satisfaction in their creativity. Martin, who finds his painting inspiration in the tropics, and Lori Jean Smith, who finds refuge in performing in church sanctuaries, both love to capture the unique beauty of the scenes and sounds they create. But the satisfaction isn’t complete until they share their art.

Art/travel program June 25
The Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County offers a program by wildlife artist and photographer Larry Martin on June 25 at 2 p.m. in the Ayers Room. Martin will talk about his latest safari to Kenya and present a PowerPoint program depicting animals in their natural habitats.

His observations on animals’ characteristics and attitudes are almost as interesting as the animal portraits he has painted.

“The more you learn about the subject’s behavior, the better the rendering,” Martin said as he showed a visitor his acrylics in his Anniston gallery, Wren’s Nest.

He has been on 14 safaris in order to observe wildlife and execute his detailed compositions. Much of his work has been in South America; earlier in his life the expeditions were to the plains, forests and rivers in Africa as well as Latin America. “The trips are different each time,” he said. “There’s actually something new to see every five minutes on these drives.”

Martin has an affinity for different cultures in both hemispheres and has interacted with tribal populations, discovering that these people, living so close to the earth, practice their own art, especially ornamentation on weapons and body painting.

Birds are his subjects, too. Not surprisingly, in his early years he was influenced by the paintings of John James Audubon.

Martin grew up in Anniston at the time when the Carnegie Library was located on the site of the present public library at 108 E. 10th St. The old Regar Museum was built as an addition to the library in 1931 and Martin was a frequent visitor to that museum in the early 1950s.

“As a young boy I was in my seventh heaven when I could see the bird exhibits there,” he recalls. “I’d be there early, waiting for the doors to open.”

That’s where his interest in wildlife started, and according to his plans for future travel, the end of this road is nowhere in sight.

Violinist’s concert at Parker Memorial
A violin solo, according to Lori Jean Smith, besides being uplifting and soulful, has a vocal tone. If you attend her concert June 29 at 7 p.m. at Parker Memorial Baptist Church, you’ll be surprised at the many ways the instrument sings.

“I play with artistry and passion,” the musician said. “That’s the only way to play the violin.”

Smith, from Orlando, Fla., will give a concert that combines several musically moving styles.

“She’s an incredible violinist,” said Don Goober, the church’s minister of music. “Lori Jean plays the best of classics and the best of rock.” Accompanying Smith will be two musicians from her band: Robert Elkins, keyboardist, and James McKay, who plays the cajon, a box-shaped percussion instrument, originally made in Peru.

Smith performed at Parker in 2006 when she toured with Steve Green, a contemporary singer who recorded “People Need the Lord.” She thought the church’s interior was striking and “its features, its character, its age” influenced one of her CD’s photos and title, “Sanctuary.” Other CDs by Smith include “Memoirs of the Soul” and “Presence,” released in November 2011. It is a Christmas collection which incorporates classical, jazz, and Celtic styles. “It brings out the Irish in me,” Smith said.

Smith was raised in a musical family but studied violin, at first, for a selfish reason, she admitted.

“I was determined to be the one in my family who inherited my grandmother’s violin. The mission was accomplished.” She received her bachelor of arts from Cedarville University in Ohio and her master’s of music at University of Utah. She is currently completing a new CD project, “Crescendo,” with updated arrangements of hymns. “It’s a new look at the old,” Smith said.
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Artists share work with the public by Hervey Folsom
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