Photo from the artist / "Carolina Wren," a watercolor by Nell Moretz, is included in "Cold Hands Warm Art," a Dayton Arts League show at ArtCrafters Gallery.

Visitors looking for a theme won't necessarily find one in the Dayton Arts League's spring show, on view at ArtCrafters Gallery in downtown Dayton, Tennessee. The title might hint at the vagaries of weather, but "Cold Hands Warm Art" is nothing more than a play on words, perhaps indicating the passion that builds in the start-to-finish process as the artists work.

"We don't do themes. We feel like we're challenged enough just to do the art," member Geneva Andrews laughs. "Don't make it complicated."

Nature is evident in many of the pieces, though. Even Andrews' paper sculpture "Invaders," crafted out of junk mail, depicts the sunny yellow flowers of a trio of dandelions amid a bright green cluster of leaves.

Andrews, 75, says she's the most nontraditional artist of the 11-member, mostly older group, though they do represent a variety of media.

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Dayton Arts League opens spring show

"One of our members works mostly in pencil drawing," she says. "One specializes in watercolor. We have a pastel artist. I do mostly paper collage, and then we have people that do acrylic."

Andrews moved to Dayton 11 years ago and found her fellow artists about two years ago after seeing their annual exhibit at the Rhea County Courthouse during the Tennessee Strawberry Festival. She was impressed by their talents, bought one of the pieces on view and decided to join them in their artistic pursuits.

The group gathers once a month for a brief business meeting and presentation.

"We'll either experiment with technique, something quick to do, or somebody will talk about an artist they admire or a method they want to explain," she says.

The artists have two main shows each year — one in spring at ArtCrafters and one in fall at the Dayton Welcome Center. Their short-term exhibit at the Strawberry Festival has been a tradition since 1975, originating not long after the group organized in 1974.

The spring show at ArtCrafters includes 25 to 30 pieces, many for sale. It will continue through Saturday, March 28. A meet-the-artists reception is scheduled 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 21.

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.

If you go

* What: Dayton Arts League’s “Cold Hands Warm Art.”

* When: Through March 28.

* Where: ArtCrafters Gallery, 1356 Market St., Dayton, Tenn.

* Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

* Phone: 423-775-1401.

* Note: Meet-the-artists reception, 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 21.