If you had to describe the word love, what would it look like? Maybe you would say love is the color blue, like your daughter's eyes. Maybe it's a poem written by your husband. Or maybe love is an ocean at your favorite beach.
Love is not just one thing, but many things, and it's different for each person. The "From the Heart" exhibit at the Hanover Area Arts Guild Gallery on Carlisle Street highlights more than forty pieces that communicate personal meanings of love.
"This show is one of the many theme shows we started a year ago as a way to get artists to try something different than their normal medium or style," said Eric Miller, board secretary for the guild. "Each artist interprets the theme in different ways. They take a lot of time to think about it."
While some pieces have the more traditional look with a variety of heart designs, many pieces are less direct, conveying love through portraits, landscapes or sculptures.
Guild member Deborah Nell contributed four pieces to the show, "Pierced by Love," "Enchanted," "I Give You My Heart and Sway." They were created as a result of a personal goal to do one painting every day for 30 days.
"My inspiration for these and all of my paintings is the music I listen to while I paint," Nell said. "I listen to Christian worship music while I paint and am always feeling God's love and much joy. I want to communicate that joy and love in my paintings."
Though Nell tries not to think about her art ahead of time, the ultimate goal is to create something that touches people emotionally and spiritually, she said.
The theme also spoke deeply to newlywed couple Jerry and Carol Gadd, both members of the guild. Each of their works was dedicated to the other, inspired by their own love story.
Jerry's watercolor features four roses, based on the small bouquet he had given his wife shortly after their wedding. One rose for each week of marriage.
In turn, Carol's drawing and watercolor combination references lines from "The Twelfth of Never," her favorite love song: "You ask how much I love you. Must I explain? I need you, my darling, like roses need rain."
Though these pieces of their love story can now be found at the gallery, the Gadds kept the original copies for each other at home.
The exhibit also includes works of a German art form called "scherenschnitte" as well as portraits, landscapes, metal sculpture, decoupage, drawings and photographs.
If you go
The "From the Heart" show runs through Feb. 28 at the gallery, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; noon to 7 p.m., Wednesday and Friday; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
March: "33rd Annual School Art Show"
April: "Annual Spring Show"
May: "Ron Schloyer Memorial Exhibit"
June: "In the Square"