Upstate artists Joan Wheatley and Lady Pluuto will present their joint exhibition, “Playing with Colors,” March 7 through April 1 in Gallery III of the Artists Collective | Spartanburg. A artists’ reception will be held Thursday, March 16, as part of ArtWalk Spartanburg.
“The art in this exhibit shows the whimsical world of color,” says Lady Pluuto. “Joan and I are friends, and we both love color and whimsy. Visitors to the show will see art that will make your heart smile and exuberant cuteness.”
Wheatley’s artwork combines her love of various media. “Nature has always fascinated me and it plays a big part in my art today. I have been making whimsical miniature treehouses for years, and just a few years ago ventured into making porcelain clay mice for these houses. Clay is addicting, and I love it. I am now combining my love of nature with my photography, art and miniatures. I have no formal training, but that has not stopped me on my creative journey. My goal is to make people smile when they see my art.”
Pluuto, a self-taught artist from Austell, Georgia, says, “Painting is more than just creating art for me – it’s therapy. The depths of our shadows are the source of our light. I paint mostly from intuition; it allows me to release emotions to better process them. Because of this, creating art plays a major role along my spiritual journey. Through my art, I aim to provide places of solitude for those who also acknowledge their spiraled, never-ending journey through spiritual enlightenment.”
In February 2022, Lady Pluuto had works exhibited at the Bruh Mentor Sneaker Gala. In 2020, her works were exhibited in “Hit Refresh: New Member Exhibit” at the Artists Collective | Spartanburg, “Black Artists of Spartanburg Exhibit” at the Chapman Cultural Center and she assisted the late Madddartist with his “R” in the Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Spartanburg. She also painted a mural inside The Tulip Tree restaurant in downtown Spartanburg last year.
Previously, she has had works displayed in “An Unfinished Story” in Spartanburg’s Montgomery Building, “Birth Matters Garden Party and Silent Auction,” Habitat for Humanity Spartanburg’s “Upcycled Art Show” and Thomas Koenig’s exhibit “Seeing Big.”
Wheatley, who grew up in Connecticut, says her summers spent on the shores of Lake Champlain in Vermont were “a perfect place to sketch, paint and collect little acorns, twigs and tiny stones,” which she still collects. While living in the Netherlands for 10 years, she learned about folk art from the village of Hindeloopen and started painting on furniture. It was her intention to paint smaller and smaller pieces. She started painting and creating miniature furniture at shows in 1981 and is still selling today at shows and on her website.
Lady Pluuto and Wheatley both are members of ACS. “We are thankful for the Artists Collective | Spartanburg,” Lady Pluuto says. “Our friendship began here and now we're having an exhibit together here.”