Artistic tribute

Marilyn Whipkey

“Bakersfield ALIVE!,” an exhibit painted by Gita Lloyd, 49, will be on display Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Arts Council of Kern until Nov. 12.

Lloyd’s interest in art began at age 10. At age 22, Lloyd became a freelance artist.

“After I taught myself over 30 years of study, I am a master artist now, and that’s because I’ve done my homework. I’ve done my million drawings,” Lloyd said.

The title of the work is a tribute to the living, working people, artists and enthusiasts that Lloyd has seen around her.

“A tribute work is often painted after the fact,” Lloyd said. “I painted this during the fact. Hence: Alive.”

“Bakersfield ALIVE!” has two parts: one with paintings numbered one through 12; the secondary titles explain each event and subject.

“The focus of my work has been in creating paintings as visual diaries and painting live,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd painted “Bakersfield ALIVE!” this year from January through July. On Labor Day, the Bakersfield sign was the necessary “capping phrase” that completed her work. The painting of the Bakersfield sign is 10 feet by 40 inches and is on the wall in the foyer of the Arts Council of Kern.

There are paintings that are sidebars to the “Bakersfield ALIVE!” set that are called incidentals.

“There were times when I couldn’t afford the larger canvas, so in the diary these paintings help to clarify the event of painting the work over the six-month period,” Lloyd said.

The “Standing Bear Pow Wow/Crooked Hat Singers” (painting No. 10) has an accompanying music CD. On the secondary title and information of painting No. 10, Lloyd said, “Life has a way of seeping into the paintings whether I know it or not. My only job now is to open my eyes.”

She has a special way of looking at art.

“The face, to me is a landscape. It has valleys and movement to it and when I’m painting you then I’m exploring your form, so I’m not looking to draw you,” Lloyd said. “Everyone is so beautiful! It’s very tender for me to see these beautiful shapes. And those are the valleys and the tender parts that make us who we are and it can be captured through form.”

A special opening of “Bakersfield ALIVE!,” sponsored by Green Frog Market in honor of its 70th anniversary is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Arts Council of Kern. For more information, call 324-9000.

Lloyd is hoping to travel, possibly to China, to show her paintings of “Bakersfield ALIVE!”

“It would be an opportunity to show our culture to others,” Lloyd said.