Does rain have a color? And if so, what color is it?
Judging by the exhibit now at the Museum of Arts & Sciences in Daytona Beach, The Color of Rain is all the 42 contributing artists want. Their interpretations feature the brightly painted umbrellas hanging from the museum’s ceiling and walls.
“The color of rain is like a painting to me,” said NC Hagood, an abstract artist in New Smyrna Beach. “I designed each section of the umbrella like a painting, so when you open it up, it looks like a lot of little paintings.”
She says she gets her inspiration from everyday life: “I take everything I see and abstract it.”
The theme of the show was the brainchild of Lillian (LC) Tobey, President of the Florida Women’s Art Association.
A few years ago, when she and her husband were visiting Paris, they saw an exhibition of umbrellas in an alley.
“I thought how quirky that was and put it in my memory bank,” she said. When she became FLWAA president two years ago, “the idea popped up.”
“I thought let me challenge her to an installation,” she said of membership in the organization. She explored cohesion and knew they all needed to use the same umbrella. She pitched the idea to FLWAA members and said that most were enthusiastic about the project, although some were reluctant.
“We decided on the type of umbrella and tried different colors on the umbrella,” she said. “You can’t use oil-based paints on nylon. We made the decision and pitched the idea to the curator.
“So here we are, a year later, a year of work.”
Her husband cut the handles off of all the umbrellas to make them gallery ready, and Tobey later used the handles for a related artwork.
The participating artists enjoyed working on the project.
Carson Kapp of New Smyrna Beach painted two umbrellas, one alone and one as a member of a group of five artists who used the same colors to paint their own separate but related umbrellas.
“LC’s ideas are one of the reasons I joined FLWAA,” said Kapp. “I love doing things that are different. … When I heard we were going to make an umbrella, I said, ‘Sign me up.’ i love a challenge And it’s fun to paint on.”
But the project was not without its stumbling blocks. Elaine D’Amore Tillard of Ormond Beach took her time to plan her painting.
“I thought about it and thought about what I would do,” she said. “My biggest problem was the folds in the umbrella. It’s not easy to paint on a crumpled umbrella.” Her solution was to iron the umbrella on a “very low setting.”
Her husband spray-painted the umbrella midnight blue, and she let muted colors fall as raindrops on the background.
One of the artists who submitted an umbrella for the exhibition is not a painter but a photographer, one of two who contributed to the exhibition.
Kathleen Warren, of rural Flagler County and FLWAA vice president, said her first reaction was, “I can’t do this. I think I kind of pushed it into the back of my mind because I couldn’t see it. When I was explained how the umbrella would be presented, I was very excited. … There’s something really unique about this space and I really wanted to be a part of it.”
Her umbrella featured a photo of an unopened hibiscus bud from which a drop of rain fell. Since it was a photograph and not a painting, she had the image transferred to the umbrella commercially.
The artists were also excited about Tobey’s hopes of taking the show to the streets.
“LC has great ideas and that’s the beauty of her,” said Kapp. “She will see if it can become a traveling exhibition.”
The Color of Rain opened on March 26th and will be on view through May 22nd.
when you go
Location: The Museum of Arts & Sciences is located at 352 S. Nova Road, Daytona Beach.
Hours: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m
Information: Call 386-255-0285 or visit us moas.org