Two friends strive to balance their differing styles on the same topic at their Art Center dual exhibition.
Meg Pierce and Joan Lyon have a lot in common.
They’re both experienced artists who like to feature scenes from nature. They both like to go to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to birdwatch. They both enjoy theater and discussing art.
Both are transplants from larger metro areas — Pierce from Long Island, N.Y., and Lyon from Chicago — and both are widows.
But when it comes to their artistic styles, the two friends are completely different.
Now, in a rare dual exhibition at the Art Center Sarasota, the two are collaborating to show the harmony between their different interpretations of the same topic: nature.
The joint exhibit, “Delicate Balance,” which runs through Nov. 21, juxtaposes the two artists’ work on separate walls, but then unites them with a collaborative piece in the center of the exhibit.
It’s easy to see who crafted which piece. Pierce’s work, done in neutral browns and tans, takes a more abstract, detailed approach. It focuses on the beauty in little things.
Lyon’s work, by contrast, is filled with bright, neon colors that show Florida landscapes in a more whimsical way.
“Meg and Joan thought of a way to bring their two styles together,” says Art Center Executive Director Lisa Berger. “Joan’s use of handmade paper and the scenes and vignettes that she creates are beautiful. And with Meg’s work, we were really impressed with the craft and thought that goes into each piece. They’re very meticulous.”
For the two artists, who became friends 10 years ago after meeting at the Art Center, the exhibit is also a chance to make a political statement.
Just as the exhibit aims to find a balance between the two styles, the two are concerned about humans finding a balance with the world around them.
“There are a lot of people who move down here for that natural lifestyle, to go outdoors and go bird watching and experience nature,” says Lyon. “And then there are the other people who are about construction and growth and more money. We’ve got to find a balance.”
“It’s a delicate balance,” adds Pierce.
In Sarasota, a large part of balance for Pierce and Lyon has been finding each other as friends. And, being able to translate that friendship into art is special for them.
“This opportunity to get our own dual show at the Art Center means a lot,” says Lyon.
Adds Pierce: “It means everything, really.”