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11 January 2007
Anniston Artist's Sculpture, Paintings
to be on Display at Buckner Arts & Exhibit Center

Reprinted here in its entirety.

By Shawn Ryan
Entertainment Editor
The Anniston Star

Paulette Parks’ home is filled with sketches and doodles.

She can’t help it. The Anniston artist just finds herself drawing at all times of the day, whatever she’s doing.

“If I’m on the phone, I may be doodling at the same time,” she says. “I’ve got sketches on top of sketches and doodles on top of doodles.”

But all that semi-conscious work pays off when Parks enters her home studio. In there, using watercolors, clay, charcoal and oils, she turns doodles into living, breathing works of art. From the studio emerge sculptures of wizened Buddhist monks and classy society women, watercolors of American Indians and old men, of Italian courtyards and chatting women.

More than 50 pieces of Parks’ work will be on display starting Friday in the Buckner Arts & Exhibit Center at McClellan. It’s her first major show in two years.

Femininity and spirituality are two intertwining themes in her works, often expressed through female nudes, both paintings and sculptures. The themes show up in the sculpture of a mother holding her baby or a nude woman staring reflectively into space. Some of her works feature figures that are Madonna-esque (the virgin, not the singer), part of a mother-and-child theme.

“Mother-and-child was a theme that I got on for quite a while,” Parks says. “Sometimes I get on a kick or a theme which I’ll explore.

“All people and places interest me,” Parks says, noting that the Iraq War stimulated her to make art about the effects of war on the country’s people, while news out of Africa such as the Darfur situation led her to paint and sculpt various African-themed works.

Family also plays a large role in her art. In the exhibition are paintings of her mother, father, great aunt, even her daughter’s dog.

While there are 33 paintings and 23 sculptures in the exhibition, Parks says she has no preference when it comes to making art. Often, she’ll come up with an idea for a sculpture while painting or vice versa, she says.

“When I’m making a sculpture, I’ll think, ‘To investigate this idea even more, I’ll need to do a painting,’ ” she says.

With so many thoughts swirling in her head, she’s never at a loss for ideas.

“Oh, I just wish I had enough time,” she says with a laugh tinted by longing.

Art after hours

What: Paintings and sculpture by Paulette Parks.
When: 5-8:30 p.m. Friday.
Where: Exhibition Hall, Buckner Arts & Exhibit Center, McClellan.
How much: Free.
Contact: 847-3300.

Shawn Ryan is the features editor for The Anniston Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3560, 256-241-1991 or via e-mail at

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