By Kelly M. Gross
Director, David Strawn Art Gallery
The Art Association of Jacksonville is pleased to welcome artist Toni G. Long to The David Strawn Art Gallery, 331 W. College Ave. in Jacksonville, October 7-29. An opening reception was held on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 6-8 p.m. with “Gallery Talk” at 6:30 p.m.
Toni had originally planned to title her third showing at The David Strawn Art Gallery, “Outside the Lines;” however, that was before the death of her son, T.J. Long, on June 16 of this year.
Since T.J.’s passing, Toni’s life has been “outside” the normal lines of her life. She was tempted to cancel the show, until she realized that art was one of T.J.’s passions. Toni decided to finish this 2-year project and dedicate her show in T.J.’s memory.
A dear friend of Toni’s, Jo Caldwell, recently gave Toni a page from her diary dated Wednesday, September 26, 2007, which was one week before her first show at The David Strawn Art Gallery. Jo’s entry was as follows: “Highlight was a small wine and cheese ‘first Glimpse’ reception at Toni Long’s home of her paintings and drawings to be shown at The David Strawn Art gallery on October 6th, 2007. She invited good friends who will miss her show as they travel to Africa with Jacksonville Savings Bank. The exhibit is called a ‘Once in a Lifetime Event’ and it is a ‘WOW’ show inspired by her trip to Provence and from photos of the beautiful countryside. What a talent!”
Toni hopes that this current show turns out to be a “WOW” show as well! Perhaps she can get Jo Caldwell to critique it again!
Toni’s exhibit will feature acrylic paintings from still life to seascapes using vibrant colors in impressionist styles. After her son’s passing, she had to push herself to finish the last canvases, and they turned out to be a few of the most colorful.
Toni Attended Southern Illinois University, majoring in Fine Arts and Interior Design. She is a charter member of the American Society of Interior Design. She practiced in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles before moving to Jacksonville where she worked as “Toni Long ASID Interior Design.”
Toni was on the board of trustees for The Art Association of Jacksonville for 25 years.
The exhibit gallery hours, October 8-29, are Sundays from 1-3 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 4-6 p.m. The gallery hours are free and open to the public.