Colored Pencil Society

Sheliah Lonian discusses the works of the members of the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Colored Pencil Society, which are currently on display at The Martin Place in McKinney.

McKinney has long been a hub for the arts, but whether word was spreading remained to be seen. Until now.

With classic landmarks like the Heard-Craig Center, McKinney Performing Arts Center and now the Cotton Mill, fine art is only steps away. McKinney also boasts those galleries that may be less well-known but that show the work of professionals and amateurs alike. One of these is nestled on the east side on Graves Street, The Martin Place – owned by Jan and Ernie Martin – is a mecca for every medium.

This month, The Martin Place is hosting the third annual show of the local chapter of the Colored Pencil Society, featuring artists from McKinney, other parts of Texas and some out of state.

The unique exhibition isn’t what you remember from elementary mapping pencils. The medium, with its sharp points, gives the artist the ability to achieve photorealistic details down to individual strands of hair.

Sheliah Lonian, chapter vice president, said she’s impressed by the work her fellow members turned out for this year’s show. Most of the artists are hobbyists, honing their craft with the help of the society and its biannual classes. They range in age and professions – they have retirees, a dentist, an accountant, even a petroleum engineer. But they all come together with the common passion for their art, some of it award-winning.

“The reason we started this show is to give everybody a chance to show their work,” Lonian said. “Here, they can show and/or sell, and each year they’ve gotten better.”

She said The Martin Place has been instrumental in guiding the artists in matting and framing their art to show it at its best.

The Colored Pencil Society show runs through Sept. 25, and the gallery is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The October Exhibition, “Hidden Gems,” will showcase artists’ forgotten artwork or attempts at new media. The show begins Oct. 5 with a reception from 6-8 p.m. The gallery is located at 1799 N. Graves St.

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