New exhibits at Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries

Special to The Log
Gaelic Girl, colored pencil, by 2013 ADSO Best-in-Show Winner, Heather A. Mitchell

Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center Galleries at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville present two new art exhibitions through March 14. Both exhibitions, as well as an Artists’ Reception on Saturday, Feb. 8, are all free of charge and open to the public.

The Arts and Design Society of Fort Walton Beach, Inc. presents the 22nd Southeast Regional Juried Fine Arts Exhibition in the center’s McIlroy Gallery. This competitive exhibition perennially attracts top artistic talent from across the southeastern United States and showcases works in a variety of media. This year’s juror is Don Andrews, a nationally known watercolorist and workshop instructor. He is a graduate of the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, and is a resident of Fairhope, Ala.

The Holzhauer Gallery at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center will feature the 2013 ADSO Best-in-Show Winner, Heather A. Mitchell. The artist draws the inspiration for her work from the local wildlife, pets and people of the Gulf Coast region. Her meticulous drawings in both traditional and experimental media translate the sites of the bayous, beaches, and public lands of Pensacola for the gallery space.  Mitchell is an emerging artist — a relative newcomer in the sphere of competitive exhibitions — but previously worked in commercial arts and art education and has garnered numerous awards in the four years since she began exhibiting.

An Artists’ Reception and Awards Ceremony will be held from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 8 in the Galleries.