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"Joy... Glory in the Morning," acrylic by Helen Brooks, at far left. Above, "Rhythmic Journey" is a mixed media by Linda Kerlin.

If you go

› What: Opening reception for “Old, New, Borrowed, Blue” by Helen Brooks and Linda Kerlin.

› When: 5-8 p.m. Friday, March 3; show continues through Friday, March 31.

› Where: In-Town Gallery, 26A Frazier Ave.

› Admission: Free.

› Phone: 423-267-9214.

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"Joy... Glory in the Morning," acrylic by Helen Brooks

In-Town Gallery hopes to usher in "a refreshing breath of spring" with the March exhibition of paintings by Helen Brooks and Linda Kerlin. "Old, New, Borrowed, Blue" opens with a reception Friday evening, March 3.

Spokeswoman Jennie Kirkpatrick says Brooks and Kerlin are friends who live in the Sequatchie Valley. For their front-wall show, they've "created a series of abstract paintings expressing their joy and awe in the natural beauty surrounding them," she says.

Memories of earlier places of beauty in their lives and influences by other artists and instructors over the years also have inspired their current bodies of work.

Those influences account for the first three themes in the title. "Blue" refers to the psychological reaction people have to the color, which is seen as a element of calm, trust, peace and tranquility.

"Old and new friends and art techniques, borrowed influences of artists in the past and the inner security and confidence expressed by the blue in their compositions explain the choice for the show title," Kirkpatrick says.

Brooks takes a somewhat mystical, spiritual approach to her paintings, many of which are florals.

"Every painting is a new experience, a way to voice my feelings and ideas about the beauty around me and a constant motivation to find true, original expression," she says.

Kerlin begins her works without a subject in mind, covering the surface with color or lines and experimental layering that might involve different materials, tools and collage.

"I add lots of color and movement and follow the principles of design until the results are satisfying," she says. "The painting process for me is a spontaneous peacefulness of layering paint to create movement like a song that takes you away, momentarily removing all distractions."

Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday (until 8 p.m. on first Fridays) and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

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