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Contact: Maureen Callahan
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Carmel Arts & Design District Artist Lauded with State Award
Denise Frazier Pettee named Best in Show at Indiana Heritage Arts Annual Exhibition

July 1, 2008

Carmel, Ind. – On June 6, central Indiana’s growing arts and design community gained another impressive distinction.

Resident artist and gallery owner Denise Frazier Pettee’s painting, Lotus Pond, was awarded top prize at the 30th annual Indiana Heritage Arts Annual Exhibition held at the Brown County Art Gallery.

Each of the 150 artists entering the competition had a personal connection to the Hoosier state, either currently residing in Indiana or having lived here in the past, explained Frazier Pettee.

“The talent represented was humbling – it is always an honor to be grouped with peers I respect,” she said. “I’ve received awards and had sales at this show in the past, but a Best in Show win was a thrill to me. I respect the people who run the show a great deal, and think it is one of the best exhibitions in the Midwest.”

Frazier Pettee was born in Chicago and spent her young adulthood in Indianapolis. Through her childhood and adolescence, Frazier Pettee received scholastic art awards and scholarships, attending Eastern Illinois University and Ball State University and earning a degree in art education from John Herron Art Institute/Indiana University.

She taught high school painting and drawing before taking a job as a sports figure illustrator at a silk screen design firm. As a fashion illustrator, Frazier Pettee developed a solid foundation in figure drawing, refined her skills in line illustration and created original illustrations featured in numerous magazine and newspaper publications.

In 1996, she rediscovered her love for fine art, traveling through Europe and the states and painting “en plein air,” or outdoors on location. Her art ranges from still lifes and landscapes to sensitive interpretations of figure studies painted in a bold, expressive manner with overtones of contemporary impressionism.

Much of Frazier Pettee’s inspiration comes from her travels, but other times, her muse can be stirred by even everyday observations.

“I am so flooded with visualizations – I almost never stop,” she explained. “I might see a street light and think it could make a great painting, and then toy around with the idea of painting it for two or three weeks before I actually reach for a canvas. Painting is intellectual and it is problem-solving. My inspirations come from everything.”

In addition to her Best in Show from the Indiana Heritage Arts Annual Exhibition, Frazier Pettee’s work has been juried in past years into the Hoosier Salon and earned various awards. The artist’s paintings have been also featured in galleries from Denver to Naples. However, the culmination of her life’s work occurred just this year, when Frazier Pettee’s Arts & Design District gallery debuted on March 21, 2008.

“Award-winning artists like Denise are part of what makes our district so special,” said Ron Carter, president of the Carmel Redevelopment Commission. “In her gallery, paintings of Paris streetscapes and the Broad Ripple Canal hang side-by-side. She captures what’s beautiful in central Indiana and showcases it next to the great art locations of the world.”

Frazier Pettee Fine Art will spotlight a collection of harbor scenes from New England, Nova Scotia and Normandy in the Carmel Arts & Design District Gallery Walk on July 12. But as a rule, the artist does not pack the summer months with gallery events.

“For me, the summer is painting time,” she explained.

Visit Frazier Pettee Fine Art at 9 West Main St. in Carmel, or online at www.frazierpettee.com. Or, for more information about Carmel Arts & Design District galleries, artists and special events, visit www.carmelartsanddesign.com or call 317.571.ARTS.


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