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"The Color of Change," an Exhibition by Catherine Tonning-Popowich

April 2 - April 28, 2018

Meet Catherine

Born in Michigan to artistic parents, Catherine has been creating art her entire life. She has explored many mediums such as china painting, watercolors, oils, pastels, airbrushing, printmaking, and sculpture. Painting flora and fauna on clay board using acrylics, is her current subject and medium of choice.                                                                               

Catherine holds an associate degree in commercial art as well as in fine arts. Her experience in both artistic realms resonates through her style, and it is her ability to capture fine details that makes many of her pieces seem more like photographs than paintings. While she is well-versed in painting botanicals and other organic forms, Catherine’s wildlife portrayals have gotten a great deal of exposure. 

Her passion and talent for creating wildlife art, landed her the 2013 Individual Artist Grant through the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, and as a result, Catherine became Potter Park Zoo's artist-in-residence in Lansing, Michigan, where she held wildlife painting classes  that were accessible to all ages. She also completed a series of paintings of ten of the zoo’s animals and held an exhibition of those works in the fall of 2013. 

Among other projects, in 2014 Catherine was asked to spearhead a project at the Ingham, Eaton & Clinton Community Health Facility for their Creative Recovery Program. She designed and created a project to paint a large oak tree mural to be a permanent installation in the CMH lobby, 15 to 20 adult disabled consumers were involved in the painting of the mural. This project was completed in September 2014.

In 2017, Catherine received the Artist in the Community grant from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing with which she developed the “Art Has No Barriers” program. The program reaches out to students regardless of their age or ability. She finds joy in helping them express their emotions and share their stories. Catherine’s intent through this program is to build bridges and encourage students to see commonalities between themselves and others, regardless of abilities. These classes are held at the Lansing Art Gallery in downtown Lansing, Michigan.

Catherine Says

"As an artist I have painted realism for most of my artistic life, but I always felt like something was missing. I wanted to push myself to explore new techniques and mediums and after attending a workshop that focused on vibrant, abstract art, I realized what I was craving was that connection with color. I let these vivid waves flow over me, to pull me forward, to embrace bright and bold new pallets and reinvented myself as an artist. I loosened up and let the emotion and intensity guide my brush, and as a result, my art holds my attention more than it ever did before; my art excites me again, and I will continue expanding. I found my muse, and I'm sharing this energy, sharing this inspiration with students old and new to help them find their inspiration as well."