Jane Friedman is the latest member of the Anderson Artists Guild to take part in The Canvas Project at the Anderson Mall. Friedman, who specializes in pet portraits, will be painting live at the mall from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 25, during a special after-hours event called “Pet Pics with Bunny.” She will also be present at the mall for most of that day.
Two other AAG members—Nick Billingsley and Lori Solymosi—were featured previously, and both found the experience rewarding. “I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who came up to me,” said Billingsley, who painted during the tax-free back-to-school shopping weekend. “Most said something along the lines that they used to really love to do art but life got in the way. It was cool to bond with everybody over art.” For his piece, he said, “I was trying to create something that if someone was walking by, there was always something interesting happening.”
Solymosi painted during a breast cancer fundraising event at the mall. Her painting depicts women coming out of Sullivan’s restaurant in downtown Anderson; she had photographed these women with their permission and then invited them to the event. “It was nice to see the full circle of being an artist, using women from the community in the piece and then having the women coming to the mall,” she said. “It was a nice way to present art, different than anything I’ve ever done before.”
The Anderson Mall hopes to feature an artist quarterly as part of a corporate-wide initiative, and an effort is made to pair the artist with an appropriate event at the mall. Subject matter and interpretation are open, but “the art should be inspired by retail in the regional area,” said Christie Eller, marketing director for the Anderson Mall. She also suggests vibrant colors and patterns and a tendency toward something that is “emotional, optimistic, and inspirational.” The piece, which becomes the property of the mall, should be completed in two hours though artists are welcome to begin the piece at home beforehand. Various media, including painting, drawing, and sculpting, are possible. Artists are also able to display and sell their other work during the event if desired.
Artists are paid $375 for participating in The Canvas Project, with supplies provided by the mall.
Anyone who is interested in being part of The Canvas Project should contact Christie Eller at Christie.Eller@WashingtonPrime.com or 864-226-7088 x 4025. Afterwards, artists will need to supply a bio, head shot, contact information, and social media or website where the artist’s work can be viewed.
Jane Friedman was one of the founding members of the Anderson Artists Guild over 50 years ago. However, it wasn’t until she retired in 2000 that she found her way back to painting and the local community of artists.
Raised in North Carolina, Friedman later moved to South Carolina with her parents. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Georgia, but because job opportunities in commercial art were so limited, she went in a different direction. She moved to Anderson with her husband, who had an optometry practice here, and opened Knit Wits on North Main Street. She designed sweaters and knit dresses and offered hand-painted needlework canvases. She operated that shop for 34 years.
When she returned to painting, she did oils and pastels but then took up watercolor. Eventually, she found herself taking commissions, often for pet portraits. “I’m not sure how that started,” she said. “Maybe I did something for somebody.” These days, the commissions keep her busy, and she has done as many as a dozen pieces for some customers, who all hear about her work through word of mouth. She is also a member of Bay3, a cooperative gallery of local artists located in the Anderson Arts Center.
One of Friedman’s passions—and often a source of inspiration for non-commission work—is traveling. She and her husband recently completed their 44th crossing to Europe.
For more information about Jane Friedman, visit https://www.facebook.com/janefriedmanartist.