June April ZevenbergenHudgins

DOUGLAS — After having been closed the past 15 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Douglas Art Gallery on 10th Street is back open and once again displaying exhibits.

The Douglas Art Association, which manages The Gallery through volunteers, recently elected a new board of directors. Pat Geymont is the new president; Lucinda Gonzalez, vice president; Susan Molina, secretary; Jim Geymont, treasurer, and Onitz Nieves, director of DAA.

“We are happy to announce that The Gallery is reopen,” Geymont said. “We anticipate having some kind of grand opening next month.”

Geymont said despite being closed for so long, the bills continued coming in to the point it was getting fairly expensive to remain closed.

“We also had to re-clean the entire building because it got so dusty,” she said. “It took some work getting everybody back together again just so we could open the doors. We’re thrilled to be back open.”

Nievas said as director, it is her responsibility to schedule artists for upcoming shows.

“We’re hoping to start having receptions again where the artists can meet people and talk about their work,” she said.

There is an art exhibit on display at The Gallery courtesy of April Zevenbergen Hudgins, who is new to Douglas.

“She actually attends my church, she’s new to town, and when I found out she was an artist and I saw her work I invited her down to The Gallery, had her fill out a membership card and we set her up with a show,” Nievas said. “Her work will be on display here until the end of the month.”

Zevenbergen Hudgins, who describes herself as a “Christian artist” was born and raised in Hawaii. While attending high school there she was discovered by her high school art teacher and recommended for an apprenticeship with legendary Hawaiian artist Herb Kane.

She says it was through this apprenticeship she gained exponential skill as she worked for months on a large mural with Kane in her high school gym. She says she was taught many techniques on the mural and to this day has the style and ability to produce very large mural sized pieces of art. She says she loves the freedom of painting on a large canvas.

Zevenbergen Hudgins lived in Okinawa, Japan, for three years where she focused on her art and further developed her artistic talent.

Her art bio reads she recently married Pastor Ben Hudgins of Silver Creek Church and is in the process of finishing up her master’s degree in nursing leadership and administration of healthcare systems.

“I really enjoy painting flowers, landscapes, horses, things that inspire me,” she said. “I also do a mixture of abstract and realism. So I will mix my subject matter with things I see in real life mixed in with things from my imagination.”

Zevenbergen Hudgins has exhibited her art in other cities. This is her first time showing in Douglas.

“This is my first time having this big of a display,” she said.

In July, an exhibit by Joan Crockett with Art Awakenings will be featured at The Gallery, a program that allows developmentally challenged people (to) create through art.

“It will feature both adults and children and will be here the whole month,” Geymont added. “It promises to be a very interesting exhibit.”

Geymont and Nievas said they are happy The Gallery is back open.

“It was sad seeing it closed with the lights off for so long,” Nievas said. “I wondered if we were ever going to reopen.”

“We’re trying to get new artists in here, something people haven’t seen before as well as our regular returning artists,” Geymont said. “We had people that were scheduled before COVID hit and then had to cancel. We’re hoping to get those exhibitors back on the schedule here real soon.”

The Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Receptions normally take place on Saturdays. Face coverings are optional.

“We’re still taking precautions and cleaning everything and keeping everything sanitized,” Geymont said. “We invite everybody to come and see us. We do things that are of interest to the community. We get both in-state and out-of-state people visiting us.”

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