Aug. 5, 2003 – The last art show of the summer and forever at Alexander's Café will open Friday with a reception at the Frenchtown restaurant. It's a group exhibition of work by Lucinda Schutt and 13 of her watercolor workshop students.
The works will hang through the end of August, when Alexander's is scheduled to close its doors after 22 years for renovations that will transform it — still under the ownership of Alex Treml — into Bella Blu, a new eatery with a Mediterranean emphasis.
Fans of both Alexander's and art need not fear, however: The new Bella Blu will continue the old tradition of monthly shows and meet-the-artist receptions. "That is the one thing Alex will keep about Alexander's as we know it," exhibit coordinator Claire Ochoa says. In fact, "the plan is to put in better lighting."
On Friday, the public is invited to view watercolors by Schutt as well as by her students at the opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Most of the artists will be on hand to discuss their work, and all of the pieces on display will be available for purchase, with proceeds to benefit the individual artists.
Schutt has been teaching watercolor classes since 1990. Her first opportunity to do so came via a V.I. Council on the Arts grant that allowed her to work under a painting instructor and then, in turn, instruct others.
She is artist in residence at the Ritz Carlton-St. Thomas Resort and the owner of Blue Turtle Gallery in downtown Charlotte Amalie, where she holds watercolor classes on Saturdays.
The student exhibiting with Schutt in the show at Alexander's are Beth Downey, Jane Federson, Jenny Grimes, Joni Jones, Norm Jones, Denise Kurg, Pam Larsen, Susan Lawson, Rosemarie Olive, Amalie Parrot, Bruce Shrallow, Rossena Vaccarino and Avericia Williams.
Williams says she began taking watercolor classes because she was seeking "something relaxing I knew I would enjoy. I had never painted before."
Shrallow had painted "off and on for a long, long time" but now appreciates the discipline that a class brings.
For Kurg, the "camaraderie of a class" is something to look forward to.
Administrators, medical and legal professionals, retirees and more during the week, the 13 participants "are artists at least every Saturday," Ochoa says. "This a delightful show that serves as a reminder of what role art can play in your life," she adds.
The artwork will be on display at Alexander's Café through Aug. 31. Information about future Saturday watercolor workshops will be available at the opening reception. For more information, contact Ochoa at 643-6363 or preview the show at the St. John Gallery Web site.
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