Ludington Area Center for the Arts
Ludington Area Center for the Arts
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Niemann, Kokx's 'Blooms & Beaches' exhibit opens Feb. 5

Reservations now being accepted ​for Feb. 12 artist reception

The Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA) will host Ellen Niemann and Bill Kokx’s ‘Blooms & Beaches’ exhibit in the art center’s main gallery during the month of February.

‘Blooms & Beaches’ features floral (Neimann) and landscapes (Kokx) watercolor paintings from each of the artists.

The exhibit will officially open Friday, Feb. 12 with an artist reception from 5-8 p.m., those planning to attend are asked to make a reservation for a time slot to take in the exhibit. Reservations can be made online at https://ludingtonartscenter.square.site/product/february-2021-artist-reception/653.

‘Blooms & Beaches’ runs through Friday, Feb. 26 and is available for viewing during LACA’s normal business hours Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ellen Niemann largely self-taught as an artist, having experience in calligraphy, mixed media, and watercolor. Niemann discovered she liked drawing as a small child, often copying the simple drawings of her maternal gramma.

Niemann has practiced and taught calligraphy for over 30 years, having studied at the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting conference with international teachers. She is also a past member of the Cream City Calligraphers in Milwaukee, Wisc. and presently a member of the Pen Dragons Calligraphy Guild in Kalamazoo, MI.  Niemann is an active member of the visual arts critique group at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts. 

“Presently my artwork focuses on watercolor florals,” Niemann says. “I’ve noticed that several of them could represent family connections. Some paintings have two flowers, some have three, some have many. But I’m intrigued at the discovery of how many have two. Perhaps it reflects my own family. My mother had a twin brother, and so do I. I hope that my watercolor portraits of flowers will remind people that there is peace, wonder, and connection between all things, especially as all things are touched by the light.

Niemann has been accepted into Art On The Town Gallery in Pentwater and will begin selling watercolors there in 2021.

As life was happening, Niemann was unable to pursue art seriously until she retired from nursing. “Now I am incandescently happy. I enjoy gardening and live in Ludington, Mich. with my husband Noel (a consummate Green Bay Packer fan) and our two cats.”

Watercolor artist Bill Kokx enjoys painting a variety of subjects and finds creativity in nature with interactions; always striving to give his personal interpretation of reality. He tries to connect to the atmosphere that has drawn him to the subject and attempts to evoke an experience of being there for the viewer. Kokx feels truly fortunate to have this creative outlet which has offered balance to his career as a Board-Certified Emergency Physician. Being an artist has taught him to be aware of object relationships as well as to notice the details, shapes, colors and values in our world that often go unnoticed. Not only has this helped him create art but has also improved his daily observational skills and helped him gain a deeper understanding of human emotions. The study of art - as with the study of medicine - requires dedication, lifelong learning, and continual practice; all made easier when you love what you do.

Twenty-eight years ago, Kokx made a commitment to himself to seriously learn the art of watercolor painting. As a beginner he was determined to learn as much as he could. With the encouragement of others, Bill managed to persist with his training in various art forms. He joined a local art group, had his work critiqued in front of established artists and improved with each painting.

Along his journey, he has read a lot of books, attended watercolor workshops and practiced regularly. His mother and professional artist, Kitty Proctor Kokx, has had a profound influence on him throughout his life. Most recently he has had instruction from a local art teacher Michele Anscombe, as well as other dedicated watercolor artists including Frank Francese, Don Andrews and Tom Lynch. Kokx’s acceptance into several juried art exhibitions has brought him welcomed satisfaction and a great deal of encouragement. What started out as an interest and a desire to improve his paintings has developed into a love for creating art.

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