Artist Cheryl Powell, from Winston-Salem, N.C. displayed a collection of her paintings at the Cox Building for a show titled “A Visitor’s View of Maysville,” part of the Ohio River Valley Artists Guild’s First Friday event.
To anyone viewing Powell’s work at the show who is familiar with Maysville, several paintings depict scenes which are immediately recognizable.
Powell said she came to Maysville in August of 2017, on her way to Milwaukee, Wisc., and had stayed at the French Quarter Inn for the night. Until then she said she had never heard of the town.
After doing some touring around Maysville, Powell said she was struck by how the town looked, and the pride its citizens took in caring for the historical buildings that she wanted to translate that into art.
“When I walked out of the hotel and I saw all of those shadows and the trees and I was like, ‘oh my God, it’s so beautiful,’” she said. “Everywhere I looked, ‘look at that,’ at the buildings, they were old, historic buildings. Then I started talking to more people and finding out they’re restoring all of these things and everybody really loves these buildings and they care.”
Since her visit to Maysville more than two years ago, Powell had been painting images of downtown Maysville, creating around 50 paintings. Each of the works show several locations and buildings in downtown Maysville, with a focus on how the sunlight interacted with various parts of the city.
“I didn’t want to make portraits of buildings,” she said, “I was looking for the light hitting the buildings — the time of day. I would walk down the same streets three different days, like when the light is hitting this side and then this side at a different time of the day. I was just looking for light, good light.”
Members of the public who spoke to Powell said they greatly enjoyed “A Visitor’s View of Maysville,” with some people saying that the scenes evoked a sense of nostalgia.
Images of the Powell’s works that were shown at “A Visitor’s View of Maysville” can be viewed at cheryllpowellart.com.