Two is always better than one.
With that in mind, “2 Artsy Chicks,” a gallery exhibition created by artists Patty Haft and Lynda Frautnick, is now open at the Santa Clarita Artists Association gallery in Old Town Newhall.
Visitors to the opening reception on Saturday were greeted by live music as they entered the room to find lively, original pieces and a warm welcome from Haft and Frautnick.
Refreshments and snacks paired with the visual aesthetics, in which the exhibition was equally divided with each of their pieces. Both are members of the SCAA. Haft joined more recently — nearly a year ago. When Haft wanted to ambitiously showcase her work for the first time, Frautnick decided to collaborate with her.
“I’ve been a member for quite a while. We met when we were hosting a show together; we got along really well. I’m the chairman of the gallery, and I found the gallery with a two-week gap, with nothing going on,” Frautnick said. “So, we put out a notice to the membership. Patty was the first person to respond, but she’s relatively new. Because we had gotten along so well, we decided that I would be in the show with her.”
After agreeing to create for the exhibition, Frautnick and Haft gathered their pieces from their collections over time and finalized their curation.
“From there we decided what we were going to hang and how it was going to work.”
Frautnick’s preferred art mediums include Chinese watercolor, alcohol ink, abstract acrylic and collage.
“The latest thing I’m doing is mixed media collage. I cut up a lot of my old paintings just sitting in drawers, and I make something new and a fresh composition out of them,” Frautnick said.
Her fresh perspective comes from taking the chance to pursue her artistic dreams after retiring, where she has always found herself trying new things.
“I love art, [but] I’ve never had any art training. [When I retired], there was a class at College of the Canyons in Chinese watercolor. I took the class [with Karen Mills] and I loved it. She happened to live 10 minutes away from me, and she taught classes in her home. I took classes with her for eight years,” Frautnick said. “[Later on,] I discovered alcohol ink and started playing with that. I continued to try new things.”
Haft is a commissioned artist, who specializes in watercolor primarily.
“I’ve been an artist forever. I went to the Art Center, and I was in commercial art as an illustrator, a designer and an art director. I never had time to paint, because I was always too busy,” Haft said. “I took a class and met these women who are here, and I just started painting about six years ago. I started painting my grandkids every year, and getting a lot of portrait work. I joined the group recently, and this is the first time I’ve ever shown my work and seen it on a wall like this.”
Feeling a mixture of emotions, Haft recognized her antsy, yet thrilled, sentiments. She understood the beauty in ambiguity in how her work was going to be received.
“It’s a little overwhelming, but very exciting. I don’t know if I could describe it yet.”
Haft’s current collection on display started in 2017, and with the first step she took, she’s inspiring novice artists to do the same: “Be brave. Don’t take criticism personally — art is very subjective. Just put your visions in an artistic form, and you’ll be good.”
Her favorite piece on that wall? Her granddaughter’s portrait.
The exhibit runs through Sunday, and will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. daily through Friday, and 4-8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and also by appointment. For more information, visit: www.santa claritaartists.org.