April 13, 2003 – Diane Kreiner's annual show at The Kilnworks Pottery and Art Gallery in Smith Bay is "A Carnival Celebration" as well as a personal celebration of more than three decades of painting.
And it includes something new: In addition to original oil paintings and watercolors, the exhibition features the North Side St. Thomas artist's first-ever art reproductions.
"This is a first," gallery owner Peggy Seiwert says of Kreiner's four images now available as fine-art reproductions. "People have been asking for years. Diane finally found a way of reproducing her work that she is pleased with and that truly represents her original."
And, Seiwert adds, introducing the reproductions now "is a great way to start off V.I. Carnival 2003."
Kreiner and her husband, Jeffrey, came to St. Thomas on their honeymoon and simply stayed. Her painting imagery reflects the island that she loves and its people, for whom she has a great affinity as an artist. "Seventy-five percent of my work is people," she says. "I really enjoy drawing and painting people, normal people."
Typically, her street and market scenes are well populated with people, each with distinct personality and colorful attire. And few other artists are in her league when it comes to the use of vibrant color, especially bold, beautiful reds.
"Diane is unsurpassed for her ability to capture the swing of a market woman's skirt, the Caribbean breeze as it ripples the ribbon on a hat, and the purple shadows that make Caribbean sunlight so unique and such a challenge to painters," a page dedicated to her work on the Kilnworks Web site states. A unique quality of Kreiner's work, it adds, is that "you feel that you are in the painting."
Several years ago, Kreiner, who works in her studio at her East Caret Bay home, took her imagery to another level in a unique collaboration with Seiwert, who is first and foremost a clay artist. Kreiner's people paintings can be found now even as decorative art on ceramic vases produced by Seiwert.
"Diane is truly one of the great painters of island people and Caribbean market scenes," Seiwert says. "Whereas most painters shy away from painting people, Diane loves it. Sometimes there are dozens of figures in one painting — or on one vase!"
The exhibition may be viewed during regular Kilnworks hours: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. It will hang through Mother's Day, May 11.
The Kilnworks is located on Smith Bay Road, also known as Emile "Milo" Francis Drive, just east of the entrance to the Renaissance Grand Beach Resort. For more information, call 775-3979.
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