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New exhibit of portraits by art teacher celebrates beauty of womanhood
Fragrance in the Garden: Portraits of Women
Aroma Coffee and Wine Bar
Opens Aug. 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Runs through Aug. 30

AUGUSTA, GA - Anna O’Keefe Ceyssens fell in love with portraiture while studying art at Augusta State University, mainly because of the powerful statement they make. “They express such a reflection of God’s beauty… He made everyone different and everyone has a different soul and something different to offer.”

Having only one other show since college, a collection of paintings of children to whom she taught art, Ceyssens says she drew inspiration from them.

“I was seeing something in kids [and] what they said and the purity of [them].”

Much like the qualities she saw in children, she wanted to capture the essence of women and draw inspiration from them as well.

Ceyssens’ show “Fragrance in the Garden: Portraits of Women” is a collection of paintings that enhance the defining aura of womanhood and the traits that make women unique.

“It’s a show to capture the beauty of femininity that I see and in people that I know that exhibit it… people that have outstanding qualities to me.”

Working primarily in oils, while including some work in charcoal and pastels, the subjects of the 17 portraits in her exhibition range from her sister, 97-year-old grandmother, goddaughter and friends, to older women and a model she painted while studying in Florence, Italy, where she took a portrait class.

“I wanted to capture the different aspects of womanhood: motherhood, singlehood, childhood and old age. The different things that make us women.”

One of her paintings, a portrait of mother and child, is reminiscent of similar works of Mary and Jesus.

“To me, she’s the hero of femininity,” she says of the Madonna.

Images and text by Metro Spirit, Augusta, USA

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