SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Obelisk Home is considered by some one of the most prestigious art galleries in Springfield and the region. And for one OTC student, it was a goal, even if sometimes, in their head, an unrealistic one, to show her art there. But it became a reality after one of her professors made it a class project and possibly began the process of allowing Arianne Garner to believe in herself and that she could be an artist.
“I took an independent study with Kat Allie, my first one, and she said, ‘you know, you could be a painter.’ And I was like, ‘no one is a painter, no one is just a painter and makes money off of that,” Garner said.
Well, by the end of the semester, Garner had eight pieces showing at Obelisk.
“There’s nothing better for real-world experience than telling them at the beginning of the semester ‘in four months you’re going to have your own group show’,” said Kat Allie, the chair of fine arts and humanities at OTC.
Allie has been showing at Obelisk since 2010. Her latest series, titled 108, she says is a little different than what she has done before.
“This was one of the first times that instead of relying on my photos and inspiration, I asked my friends and family to send me a photo of a place that was very auspicious to them or felt peaceful,” she said.
She selected eight prominent colors from those photos, choosing the number eight because of its significance in Asian cultures. Then, using those eight colors, she painted 108 circles in each painting. The number 108 comes from Mala beads, based on the idea of religious and spiritual meditation beads. Allie wears one her mother got her in Thailand.
“Especially,y over the past year with so many negative and unexpected things, I found myself wearing these every day and I thought it would be a natural way to segment this into my art,” she said.
Sure, Allie is a very established artist in Springfield. But some might argue that one of her biggest successes is helping inspire and guide younger talent to pursue their dreams, too.
Garner, for example, received a scholarship to attend the Art Institute of Chicago.
“This little taste of academic success is very motivating because when an institution or a place like Obelisk recognizes you as an artist, it’s like ‘okay, maybe I am,” Garner said.
Both Kat’s and Arianne’s show will be at Obelisk until the end of July.
Obelisk participates in First Friday Art Walk, but they will not be open tonight for because of the holiday weekend. However, they’re still open Friday and Saturday during their regular business hours.