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Spinning solo

Leona Fry-Schnormeier to host first solo art show Wednesday at Gibson Memorial

Leona Fry-Schnormeier, 8, of Creston poses near her spin art, which will be featured in her first solo art show 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Gibson Memorial Library.
Leona Fry-Schnormeier, 8, of Creston poses near her spin art, which will be featured in her first solo art show 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Gibson Memorial Library.

Experimental artist Leona Fry-Schnormeier is not only protege of her parents – Blake and Bailey Fry-Schnormeier – but she is beginning to make her own mark in the art community. Leona – who does everything from drawing, painting, collage art and ceramics – said “spin art” is her favorite medium of art, which will be featured during her first solo art show Wednesday.

“I am always in awe when it comes to Leona’s creativity,” said Blake. “She has a passion for exploration that is inspiring and at times, as a parent, is exhausting. For example, when it’s 5 a.m., she wants to go outside to collect leaves to do texture rubbings.”

‘Hypnotizing’

To create spin art, Leona said she first mixes acrylic paint with other mediums which help the paint become more fluid or interacts with it in some way. She has been experimenting by adding water, alcohol and baby oil to her paint, and will soon try adding mustard, just for fun.

“I like it because, while its spinning, it’s kind of hypnotizing,” she said.

As she drops her paint on to the canvas, it is rotating at a high rate of speed, which she controls with a foot pedal. She said the addition of alcohol or oil repels the paint, which adds another dimension to the paint which is already whipped around on the paper or canvas she works on.

Despite the number of connections her parents have in the art community across the state, Leona said she doesn’t see herself becoming a professional artist. She wants to be a zoologist someday. Her admiration of animals is apparent as they are a common motif in her work. One of her most recent pieces is a clay whistle molded in to the likeness of a shrew.

An outlet

Leona said she is excited for her first solo show, as are her parents.

“I am excited for her to be able to share her passion for art with the public, but more importantly we want to get people into the library. By adding art to the library, we hope to draw more visitors to Gibson Memorial Library,” said Blake.

Leona’s parents painted her as a shy child, but said art is transformational for her.

“Her art gives her the courage to step out of her comfort zone and to engage in conversation with people,” said Blake.

“Art has given Leona the power to open up to others,” said Bailey. “Now I see her approach folks to share her art and tell them all about it and the process.”

Even at her young age, Leona’s influence can already be seen and felt within the community. This past year, she helped lead art projects with residents at Creston Specialty Care and helps on days off from school at Create Creston, where her father hosts art workshops and provides embroidery services.

“She has also helped with every mural we painted in Creston. We joke with her and tell her she is in training and tell customers at the shop she is our artist in residence,” said Blake.

Meet spin artist Leona Fry-Schnormeier 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Gibson Memorial Library. A limited number of spin art bookmarks will be given to those in attendance.

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