Thursday, August 27, 2015

Yoga East Healing Arts Studio presents "Bookmarks," works in various media by Kelly Hughes

Yoga East Healing Arts Studio presents "Bookmarks," works in various media by Kelly Hughes, as part of First Friday series Sept. 4th and October 2nd.

As part of downtown Cape Girardeau’s First Friday series, Yoga East Healing Arts Studio, 827 Broadway, will present "Bookmarks," featuring works by Kelly Hughes, on Friday, September 4 and Friday October 2, from 6-8 p.m. The public is cordially invited to view this series of works by Kelly Hughes of Open Window Studio, Jackson, Missouri. Refreshments will be served, and there is no admission fee.

Kelly Hughes owns and operates Open Window Studio in Jackson, Missouri. She has spent 14 years as a teaching artist, and she holds a degree in Fine Art and Biology from Corning College, Corning, New York.

"Bookmarks" will display several works. She calls them “markers of understanding that have been brought to form in a variety of media, including ink, pencil, chalk/charcoal, watercolor, acrylic, and mixed media.” The show illustrates her interest in various media, as she teaches and works in a wide variety. In addition to media, Hughes acknowledges many influences on her work, among them the poet Hafiz, poet Rainer Maria Rilke, writer Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and visual artists Mark Rothko and Georgia O’Keefe. “Hafiz reminds us to lighten up, get into some trouble---in the throes of Love with a capital L, you have that freedom,” Hughes says, smiling.

Kelly Hughes speaks about her process for making art: “I often wake at 3 a.m. with a very poignant vision—and I grab my journal and get the details down, sketch them out. I take these times very seriously. They are times to listen from a place of stillness and quiet, and take time to converse, to meditate on that which sometimes wants to take form, to become a painting or a sculpture or a series of sculptures. It’s at these points of stillness (like having a dream) that things come together in an significant way -- things get processed there. If it needs to form, then I sketch ideas, write details down, and then I find a medium that best suits the idea.”

She acknowledges that such inspiration comes in waves. “I still wait, I show up to see what happens There are times it is not there, and there are times I am more open to being aware. There are times that I’m more self-willed and wanting my own way, and times when I have that willingness to respond to the visiting inspirations."

She refers to the works in show as markers—thus the title, "Bookmarks.” These markers “indicate that I have been a witness to something. Sometimes I think of this witnessing as moments of epiphany. The works themselves mark those moments when something was learned or revealed. Sometimes the marks indicate personal turmoil, even conflict, and I think perhaps someone viewing these works will understand that, or can relate to that, or can benefit from that.”

Hughes, who earned her RYT-200 certification as a registered yoga teacher this spring, says that the regular practice and teaching of yoga “accustoms you to receiving these insights. Yoga means yoking, a union, an opening up to the flow of energy through the body, but also a practice that creates space within the mind for creativity to blossom.” She believes yoga teaches one about “learning to be aware, to be an observer,” foundational practices for creating art.

Hughes also practices the yogic virtue of non-attachment. “I am not really attached to the form created,” she says. “It’s a marker, a placeholder, a book mark, not the thing itself or the experience itself. The form just is a signifier for the experience.” Yoga, she notes, “invites us to turn the page each day.”

“For a time,” she admits, “I’m attached, but you grow, and you become less and less attached.” Her challenge, as she sees it, is to get it down, to show it, to render with fidelity that which she’s been shown. “As artists,” she says, “we have certain parameters in which to work. You start out, and you like this direction that you’re taking to make this vision realized, to make it real, but then sometimes the direction changes, and that s also part of the joy, the delight.” And for Hughes, that delight and that excitement is that of “God's presence in a new way. Letting go, it becomes clear, and I think ‘I see now!’ and I grab my paintbrush.”

“It’s odd,” she muses, “to be presenting my very personal markers to the public. Mark Rothko said, ‘One does not paint for design students or historians, but for human beings. And the reaction, in human terms, is the only thing that is really satisfactory to the artist. The people who weep before my paintings are having the same experience I had when I painted them.’”

“Like Rothko, I find it thrilling to meet persons with the same kind of experience who actually “get it,” Hughes says. She pauses. “Artists, and people, like to know we’re not alone after all.”

To view other works by Kelly Hughes, visit her online at or see her blog at For information on classes at Open Window Studio, call 573-243-1448. Email Kelly Hughes at

Kelly Hughes’s work will be on display at Yoga East through the end of October. For more information, contact Judy Grier at Yoga East Healing Arts Studio, 573-388-7277 or visit Yoga East online at Yoga East is a corporate sponsor of Cape Girardeau’s First Friday events.

No comments: