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Glenview Exhibit Connects the Dots

Natalya Borisovna Parris narrates the story of her life in a solo exhibition.

This article has been corrected from its original version. An explanation follows the article.

traces her evolution as an artist in "Story of My Life In Paint," a solo exhibition of past and recent works in the conference rooms at now until Feb. 28.

The exhibition is a privilege reserved for award winners in the juried annual Rockville Art League exhibition at Glenview Mansion. Parris won second place in December's competition.

In 18 vibrant pieces, Parris, who began exhibiting professionally in 2007, shows how stylistic shifts coincide with deeply personal experiences involving her Russian heritage, her background as an engineer and her current role as a children's art instructor at the in Gaithersburg, as well as with the influence of her immediate family.

Two distinct strains are visible in Parris's work: "Emotional Counterpoint in Paint—Dots" and "Minerals." The former is a layering technique that utilizes dots of acrylic paint to create depth and texture. The latter uses swirls of acrylic paint to evoke the properties of natural minerals. Both are precisely executed and visually striking, and in some instances, such as in "Gravitation," Parris combines them.

Her subjects include allegorical imagery such as in the "The Tree of Life," as well as fluid abstract interpolations of shape and color, geometric patterns and natural objects, such as flowers and animals.

Parris draws from the children's art classes she teaches and from her Russian heritage in order to animate her artwork.

"I was looking at the trees that my students were painting," she said describing how she got the idea for "The Tree of Life."

"They were working hard to learn the traditions of folk art and creating their own 'family trees.' Their and my family trees are only branches of a big tree—the tree that unites us all."

Parris created the "Tree of Life" and many of her contemporary interpretations of folk themes and techniques with great attention to detail and celebratory tone.

Two of her most recent pieces—"Fluffy" and "Will You Fly With Me?"—are inspired by and dedicated to family members. Parris created "Fluffy" with relentless and enthusiastic input from her daughter Victoria. "Will You Fly With Me?" references an inside joke that has been running in her family since the artist was young. (See the caption under the accompanying photos to learn more.)

Parris will be teaching Russian folk art classes and workshops at the Arts Barn from April 16 through May 21.

"Original Russian folk art pieces and costumes from my private collection will be exhibited for inspiration," she said. "Students will learn about the origin of the art, where it was created and the techniques used."

Conference room hours are subject to change based on room use. Call 240-314-8660 to confirm.

Also on display this month at Glenview are prints and collographs by Nancy McNamara and acrylic paintings by Leslie Nolan. McNamara and Nolan's work is on display in Glenview's art gallery. McNamara examines the role of women in art and history and Nolan delves into the individual psyches of her subjects.

Correction: The original version of this article stated the incorrect location for the Natalya Parris exhibition. Parris's work is being exhibited in the Glenview Mansion conference rooms, which have hours that are subject to change based on room use. Call 240-314-8660 to confirm. Rockville Patch regrets the error.

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