By Lyndsie Kiebert
With big life changes often comes a hankering for a new challenge. This is true for Hope residents Kathy and Denny Gorup, who launched head first into life as artists after retiring in recent years.
As Kathy recalled, “When we retired, we thought ‘OK, now we can do what we really want to do,’” which she said turned out to be focusing on their respective art forms. While Kathy works on her elaborate acrylic paintings, Denny creates hand-turned wooden bowls on a lathe.
The Gorups will show their artwork together at an artist’s reception 3-6 p.m. on June 19 at the Memorial Community Center in Hope (415 Wellington Place). The show, which will center around Kathy’s landscape paintings and Denny’s wooden bowls, is appropriately titled “Gorup & Gorup: A partnership of creative spirits.” The reception is free to attend, and there will be appetizers, wine and other refreshments available. There will be a presentation and Q&A session around 4 p.m.
Neither Kathy nor Denny will be the first to say that they’ve mastered their medium — in fact, both are more likely to share the mistakes and frustrations that come with trying something new. While Kathy has dabbled in art her entire life, acrylic painting was uncharted territory until recently.
“That was something like a goal for me — to do something that was a completely new skill,” she said, “and it took a few years to get to where I could stand what I was doing.”
As for Denny, the reception marks his first public art showing. He said he tried hand-turning bowls many years ago, and decided to invest in the necessary equipment after retiring. The learning curve has been steep, he said, and sometimes bowls catch while spinning, and “they’re no longer on the lathe — they’re on the other side of the shop.”
“It’s just like anything — you make a lot of mistakes, and not always the same one,” Denny said. “There’s a million catches and things that can happen.”
While Kathy’s paintings have changed and improved during her time working with acrylics, she is currently going through a landscape phase — though her creations are anything but commonplace.
“A lot of them are made up landscapes — things from my imagination,” she said. “I use photographs, but then I take off and make it my own world.”
Denny’s creations are a statement on what can be done with the natural world, while keeping in mind that the knots and grain in the wood will ultimately win out.
“The wood can talk,” he said. “Your shapes are important, but there are so many grain patterns, and lights and darks and knots … I just find it totally fascinating.”
The upcoming art reception is just the beginning for Gorup & Gorup.
“I have a lot to learn and a lot of things that I want to do with it,” Kathy said, referencing her overall work with acrylic. “The more you do, the more your mind opens up to more possibilities.”
The reception is the first of its kind at MCC, as the board of directors works to find new ways to involve the community in the multi-faceted building. The center is also home to the Hope Preschool, various club meetings, and is available to rent for special events.
Part of the proceeds from any art sold from the Gorup & Gorup collection will benefit MCC.
Find the Memorial Community Center at 415 Wellington Place in Hope. Kathy Gorup’s paintings will remain on view through July 5. Call MCC at 208-264-5481 for more information, or email [email protected]
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