Veronica Slobodnik will be the Porterville Art Association's featured artist from November 10 through January 7.

Slobodnik's art will be featured at PAA's gallery at 151 North Main. The gallery is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Slobodnik is a long-time PAA member. Her artwork will be on display and for sale. She has a large scale of abstract artwork from impressionistic works to realistic oil paintings.

Slobodnik loves to explore light through textural mediums that can be seen in her oceanic and natured paintings. Her original artwork includes natural scenery such as buzzing bees pollinating wildflowers to produce honey.

Slobodnik has decorative buzzing bee artwork created on both glass and stretched canvas. Her bee artwork is similar to artist New York's Matt Willey because their masterpieces raise awareness to the preservation of honeybees.

Her decorative artwork of jellyfish swimming in their aquatic habitat has a form of expression, communication, and is inspiring in medium and vivacious colors. In addition, Slobodnik’s paintings depict amazing jellyfish in the depths of the ocean. Her ocean artwork is similar to artists Olha Darchuk and Katherine Surminski capturing the realistic beauty of immense floating sea life.

Slobodnik was born in Texas but grew up in Fontana, Calif. She moved to Porterville in 2008 with her husband Mike, to escape the Illinois winters.

A friend advised her of a job opening at Family HealthCare Network. She came to an interview and liked the small town feel of Porterville. The agriculture, hills and mountains are similar to Fontana before the orchards and vineyards were replaced by housing tracts.

Slobodnik was employed as a physician assistant but had to retire in 2010 due to cervical spinal cord compression. In 2019, after a long recovery and needing a social outlet, she decided to pursue art.

She recalled how much she enjoyed a paint night class she took the previous year. She found the Porterville Art Association on a Google search for paint night classes. She attended a couple of classes before joining the association.

Slobodnik is a regular greeter and has taken oil painting lessons from Manual Abad until the COVID pandemic stopped classes. Her grandmother taught her how to sew and embroider. She also liked to doodle, draw and make holiday crafts for fun.

Slobodnik had a long medical career, beginning in 1983 as a medical assistant and she graduated in 1992 from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., from the Physician Assistant Program.

Since joining the association, she has participated in some showings and placed third in acrylics with "Sunflower Bumblebee" in 2020, and second in 2021 with "Earth Keeper."

Slobodnik enjoys mixed media, acrylic painting, sewing, cooking, house plants, and teaching her granddaughter how to draw and paint. She likes to hang out in her backyard and takes pictures of flowers, bugs, and clouds.

She said she's honored to be a Featured Artist and she hopes her art and photos will be enjoyed by the members of association and visitors to the gallery. This is her first exhibit, although smaller than others, she plans to continue creating art for future exhibits. Her goal of her art is to educate, entertain, and bring the community together to enjoy the effects of visual art.

 The gallery features the work of many professional and avocational local artists and is dedicated to presenting only the finest work for sale by the artists living in the Central Valley. The gallery’s displays cover a wide variety of styles and media.

The mission of the Porterville Art Association is to promote visual arts in the Porterville area through workshops, educational programs, art exhibits, financial assistance to art students and other appropriate activities. If anyone wishes to become a member of Porterville Art Association, Inc contact Chairwomen of Membership/Treasurer Peggy Woods at 559-920-5650.

Membership fees are $20 for those under 18 years of age, $40 per adult, and $50 per family per year and are tax deductible. Memberships contribute to maintaining a public art center and gallery through volunteer work, dues and donations.

In addition, pledges or donations of $10, $50, $100, $200, $250, $500 or $1,000 are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible.

Become a patron or sponsor of the arts by giving a donation to the Porterville Art Association, Inc. Pledges and donations can be mailed to Porterville Art Association, Inc. 151 North Main Street, Porterville 93257. 

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