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Anita Stewart: Celebrating Differences Through Art

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If you ever had the chance to sit down with Anita Stewart and ask her about her journey as an artist, you’d find it hard to believe that her path to becoming an artist was paved with the innocent beginnings of a red-bearded Santa in kindergarten and art lessons at the local “Y” during junior high. With a major addiction to art and a minor one to art education, Anita’s artistic journey took her from the University of Memphis in 1977 to Atlanta in 1983, where she continued to evolve both as an artist and as an art teacher.

As an artist, Anita has not only pushed her creative boundaries but also gained recognition on national, international, and local levels through her participation in juried competitions.

One of Anita Stewart’s accomplishments is the establishment of Anita’s ArtsCool in 1998, which gained recognition as one of the “crown jewels of Buford, Georgia,” according to the Gwinnett Daily Post. Her passion for art education and fostering creativity in others has been an integral part of her journey.

Yet, what truly sets Anita Stewart apart is her love for adventure and her ability to fuse it with her artistic pursuits. She has a unique talent for capturing the essence of different countries in her art, and her series, aptly named “Celebrate the Differences,” speaks volumes about her incredible journeys. What’s most remarkable is that many of her pieces were created on-site, under the very skies that inspired her.

Anita’s artistic travels have taken her to the far reaches of the globe, from South Africa to Swaziland, Italy to Peru, Ecuador to Panama, Australia, Mexico, and New Zealand. Her work showcases the beauty and diversity of the world, as she captures the landscapes and the people in vivid detail.

In Italy, she painted next to centuries-old cathedrals and fragrant lemon trees, capturing the essence of this charming country. In South Africa, she marveled at glowing sunsets and intertwined them with nearby mysterious ancient rock art. In Panama, she immortalized the emotions etched on the faces of pilgrims as they underwent penance. And in Ecuador, she brought to life the encounter of a little girl with an iguana longer than she was tall, in a life-sized diptych.

One of the highlights of her career was the month she spent in Beverley, Australia, as their first international artist in residence. This experience allowed her to immerse herself in the local culture and translate her surroundings into captivating pieces of art.

In 2019, she expanded her acclaimed “Lacy Ladies” series into an international phenomenon, all thanks to her artist residencies in Mexico and New Zealand. These experiences pushed the boundaries of her creativity and brought a fresh perspective to her work.

In 2022, Anita embarked on an exciting journey to Cuba with a group of fellow art enthusiasts. One of her fellow travelers produced a video that highlighted the events of their trip, offering a glimpse into the inspiration behind her creations. Anita has been generous in sharing her experiences with various art groups, including the Duluth Fine Arts League.

And now, in 2023, Anita is proud to exhibit 150 pieces of her art that she’s created while traveling to 11 different countries since 2009. Each of these pieces tells a unique story, capturing the essence of the places she’s visited and the people she’s met along the way.

Patrons of Anita Stewart’s art are not just acquiring beautiful paintings; they are bringing pieces of her international adventures into their homes and businesses. Her art is an invitation to embrace the spirit of adventure, to appreciate the differences that make our world unique, and to seek out new experiences. Through her work, Anita inspires others to explore the world, cherish its diversity, and express their own creativity.

In conclusion, Anita Stewart’s journey as an artist is a testament to the power of passion, travel, and the celebration of diversity. Her ability to translate her experiences into art that resonates with people around the world is a remarkable gift. She has brought the beauty of various cultures and landscapes to life on her canvas, inviting us all to celebrate the differences that make our world so fascinating. Anita Stewart’s art is a testament to the transformative power of creativity, and her story is an inspiration to all who dare to dream and embark on their own unique journeys.

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