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The Feminine Mystique in Mid-Missouri

Three well-known Mid-Missouri women artists will be featured in an exhibition that opens June 5 in the Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art at Central Methodist College.

Titled "The Feminine Mystique in Mid-Missouri: the Art of Beth Darling, Sharon Dyer and Susan Poirier," the exhibition will run through July 19. Darling and Dyer both live in Boonville, and Poirier lives in Glasgow. Also being featured in the exhibition are several new paintings, including one by Cuban artist Miguel Angel Couret, recently acquired by the Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art.

Darling works with oils and watercolors to create landscape and still-life paintings, among other subjects. Dyer works with oils and acrylics, often creating abstract works. Poirier is sculptor who works with glass, bronze, aluminum, cement, fiberglass, wood, and resin.

Darling, a native of Montreal, Canada, studied art at the Maryland Art Institute, Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where she earned a Master of Arts four-year studio diploma. Her oil painting "Plowboy Bend on the Missouri River" was selected as the official poster for the 1999 Columbia Festival of the Arts. Much of her art reflects the terrain of the American Southwest and aspects of its cultural history. Among her paintings to be on display in the Ashby-Hodge Gallery are works featuring landscapes and still-life scenes in New Mexico, as well as paintings of Missouri River landscapes.

Dyer and her husband, Bob Dyer, an historian and folk musician also well known in the mid-Missouri area, live in an historic house overlooking the Missouri River at Boonville. She has taught art, art history and literature in the Central Missouri area and worked as a graphic designer at the University of Missouri. Her work has been exhibited at the Rocheport Gallery, Legacy Books in Columbia, Stephens.

Gallery at CMU and at the Hain House in Boonville as the featured artist at the Missouri River Festival of Arts. Dyer works with both oils and acrylics and likes "the mysterious, abstract qualities of combining painting, drawing and collage papers with personal images while trying to find a balance between the known and unknown."

Poirier, a native of Missouri, works with several different materials in creating her pieces of sculpture. Photographs of her work have been featured on the cover of two international magazines, and many of her pieces of sculpture are in private collections of area residents as well as those of well-known persons in Hollywood, Calif. She has been working this spring on a new series of sculpture featuring the indigenous peoples of various cultures.