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Images of Canton: ‘Gritty Ditties from River City’

February 12, 2016 Arts and Entertainment, Business No Comments

Kate McAllister with one of her “Gritty Ditties from River City.” Blurring added in Photoshop. Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts

COLLINSVILLE – Multi, multi-media artist Kate McAllister is always seeking inspiration. This winter that’s come via the fine art of cussing.

It’s often in winter that McAllister, who has operated River City Art Center since 2010, creates a themed body of work. The latest is “Gritty Ditties from River City,” a series of beautiful, eye-catching work that happens to contain a rude sentiment or a vulgarity or two.

“I’m always re-inventing myself, always,” said McAllister. “This is just hysterical and there’s just so much material . . . In this day and age, we need something to laugh at.”

In the past few weeks, McAllister has created more than two dozen original pieces, mostly watercolors, to use as templates for posters, cards, magnets and a bevy of other products.

While she keeps the body of work hidden from her students, many friends and colleagues have seen the material, provided positive feedback and wanted to purchase items.

“The response has been utterly ridiculous,” McAllister said.

McAllister said the idea builds on some commercially available adult coloring books that feature profanity. For inspiration, she’s drawn ideas from friends, area residents and online dictionaries that feature obscure profanity and combinations.

A friend helped come up with the Gritty Ditties name.

McAllister has started posting the work at http://www.rivercityartcenter.com in a subset under the galleries section. (Please do not visit if you are a minor or easily offended).

The web site has been another winter project for McAllister. She’s always dreamed of a brick and mortar gallery but until that materializes, she’s discovered a way to better display work in a virtual setting.

Of course, selling online is nothing new but some tweaks from her host software company has made the process easy and affordable for McAllister to showcase classes and camps at River City Art as well as her artwork.

Among the offerings are mandala paintings, oil and acrylics. Watercolors, hand cut paper art, pen drawings and embroidery. McAllister is still working on the particulars for selling the Gritty Ditty items. Anyone interested can reach her through the contact form on her website.

“There’s 26 years of art that just has to go somewhere else,” she said.

Based on availability, she’s also listing items from her fellow artists in the Collinsville Artists Cooperative.

“It’s a way to promote the Collinsville artists,” she said.

See more at http://www.rivercityartcenter.com.

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