Local artist's work showcased alongside 'Cats' at Temple

Apr. 28, 2014 @ 05:06 PM

While Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” is showing at the Temple Theatre, the Sanford Brush and Palette Club will feature another type of art in the theater's stairway gallery.

“Cats” continues through May 11, and during its run, the artwork Yvonne Munroe George will be displayed in the gallery, which includes the space leading to both entrances of the second floor balcony.

Living throughout the United States, Yvonne George and her artwork have been greatly influenced by her location. Born in New York, it wasn't until she moved to Florida that she was able to study art, according to a news release about the exhibit.

"Drawing her whole life, her intention was to become a portrait artist," the release states. "Since her mother felt 'nice girls don't become artists,' she went to nursing school and was an RN before 'retiring' to marry and raise four children. The family has grown to nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren."

While at Miami-Dade Community College, George honed her artistic skills and was awarded a merit scholarship. A ceramics class changed her focus, leading her to become a clay artist for many years. Her clay art was covered with strong visual images and was exhibited in one-person and group shows in several Florida galleries.

A move to Texas added sculpture to her skills and a distinct southwestern feel to her images. While in Texas, George held many workshops instructing teachers in artistic skills for the classroom and performed many demonstrations for schools. She was president of the Ceramic League of Houston for several years and was represented by galleries from Virginia to California.

George returned to Florida, where she designed and created tiles, sinks, fireplaces and murals for a high-end homebuilder. Working with the builder on a Moroccan-style home, she created over 400 original, handmade tiles and a unique mural. The home sold for $2.3 million.

In 2004 George and her husband, Ken, moved to Sanford to be closer to family in Raleigh. She immediately joined the Brush & Palette Club and decided to go back to her original plan of being a portrait artist. She joined a class with John Wicker and surprised him with his portrait during the first semester. The following year, George began teaching continuing education classes at Central Carolina Community College.

"She enjoys teaching at all levels, and one of her greatest joys is seeing the progress of her students and teaching art for the 'Kids Camp' at the college," according to the news release. "She also teaches jewelry making at CCCC and enjoys designing special jewelry items."

Teaching in just about every medium and style, George has received awards in acrylics, pastel and watercolor and for her portraiture, abstracts and work in several other genres. George is represented by Liquidambar Gallery in Pittsboro and Eye Candy Gallery in Southern Pines. She welcomes portrait commissions, along with special painting requests like pets or landscapes

Sponsored by Bankingport Insurance, West Financial Strategies, Maple Springs Veterinary Clinic and Life 103.1, the performance times for "Cats" are Thursdays at 2 and 7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m; and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased from 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Temple Theatre box office, 120 Carthage St, by calling (919) 774-4155 or online at http://www.templeshows.com/index.html.