Local artist's work to adorn walls of the Capitol
by Cheree Dye
Jul 30, 2014 | 1420 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nine years ago, Cynthia Dempsey picked up a paint brush for the first time. She had no idea her talent would later open the door to the governor’s office. Two paintings by the Cassville resident and Chattahoochee Technical College employee were selected by the Georgia Council for the Arts to hang in the executive offices at the Capitol Building in Atlanta.

“I am extremely honored that my paintings were chosen. I am very pleased,” Dempsey said. The self-taught painter said her greatest inspiration for painting is the “beauty God put in nature.” Being a lifelong resident of Bartow County, she grew up listening to stories detailing the region’s history. The rich, local historical heritage created within her an affinity for painting Southern landscapes, barns and old buildings.

On Aug. 5, Dempsey will present her work in Atlanta and meet with Gov. Nathan Deal. The paintings, “Hiwassee 9 a.m.” and “Bridge in Spring,” will be exhibited until January 2015.

Karen Paty, director of the Georgia Council for the Arts, selected Dempsey’s work. “Exhibiting the work of Georgia artists in the Capitol brings attention and recognition to the vibrant creative economy in our state and provides visitors, staffers and legislators an opportunity to become familiar with the talents of and importance of Georgia’s visual artists,” Paty said. “It is important to note that while this program focuses solely on 2D visual art, GCA works with the office of the governor to program many events at the Capitol to highlight excellence in artistry in numerous artistic disciplines.”

All submitted art had to meet certain criteria to be considered for the exhibit, which is called “The Arts of Georgia: Celebrating Georgia’s Landscapes and People.” The two-dimensional visual art had to be the product of a Georgia artist, painted in a contemporary style and depict a theme related to Georgia’s culture, heritage or environment.

Currently, Dempsey has one painting on display at the Booth Western Art Museum, two at the Downtown Gallery located in Cartersville and two in the Gadsden Museum of Art.

“My faith comes into play with every piece I create,” Dempsey said. “I paint the image of Jesus into every painting somewhere. You just have to look for him; he is everywhere. My patrons connect on different levels with it. It is fun for the kids and can be impactful for the adults to look for him.

“I want every piece to reflect a positive message like hope, joy, peace. I want it to exude a calm, soothing feeling. I am fascinated with the play of light and dark so I try to incorporate it into my work. Even as a child I remember being captivated by shadows and the effect light had on things. I also like the bigger meaning that is conveyed. God is the light shining on an imperfect world,” Dempsey said.

For more information on Dempsey and to view her work, visit www.cdempsey.com.