| "My Ocean Odyssey" to be featured in Gallery|
|Help PRAC welcome Artist Loren Chavez and her exhibit “My Ocean Odyssey” during an art reception July 15 from 4 to 6 p.m. She said an odyssey is a journey on which many things can happen, and her life journey has taken many turns.|
Chavez grew up around the water and oceans. Her parents were both water safety instructors with the American Red Cross. Consequently, she said she swims like a mermaid.
”I even spent my early years helping teach students how to swim under my parent’s watchful eyes,” she recalls. “I was a victim in my father’s lifesaving courses, laying at the bottom of the pool for a water “rescue”. I’ve helped children overcome their fear of going underwater by holding hands and blowing bubbles together.”
Water, both fresh and salt is important to to her even today. I kayak, paddleboard, canoe and swim in a variety of areas and is happiest in the ocean.
“The ocean! My love affair with the ocean began at the tender age of 6 in the Philippines,” she said. “My father was stationed there at Clark AFB. Since I was an only child at the time, they took me when they went SCUBA diving. My parents adored SCUBA diving! I stayed with the Bangka (boat) driver on the surface. I got to play in the water as long as I stayed in the arm of the boat. While my parents swam below, I played in the bubbles above in the crystal clear water.”
She spent many happy hours in the Philippines, scouting, going to school, and swimming on weekends. Her next attraction to the sea was the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. It was a television program that was on later and on a school night, but her parents allowed her to break bedtime rules.
“I painted as a child, using oils and paint by number kits. While living in Ohio, I was painting in oils, and my baby brother came in my room and opened my turpentine,” she said. “My parents were scared and tossed all my art supplies involving oils.” My art went in other directions, singing, musical instruments, theater, sewing, so my creative spark was not diminished.”
As a mother of three children, scouts, baseball and dance classes became her life. She worked as a professional seamstress to support the family until the journey took an unfortunate turn.
”We were hit by a drunk driver in 1993. I was seated in the passenger side talking to my husband when we were rear ended at a stop light. Thankfully, even though we were all checked out okay, I did not feel normal any more,” she said. “After testing, we discovered that I have two herniated discs in my neck, and nerve damage in my right arm from the accident. I should not be able to create as well as I do, but God! God stepped in and gave me the strength and stamina to go back to my first love, painting. More specifically painting the sea and its creatures. The creatures that fill my mind and come from my brush remind me of the importance of our oceans, rivers, and lakes. I pray you enjoy the journey with me!”
The art of Linda Fayard will be displayed through July 2, and the new art will be in place shortly thereafter.
For more information about Chavez, click HERE