CLAYTON — Artist Alice Elisabeth Waite is coming back “Into the Light” with an exhibit at River Muse Art Gallery after the plan to host her show at the gallery last year was canceled due to the pandemic.

The River Muse Art Gallery’s spring feature exhibition featuring Ms. Waite’s art, “Into the Light,” opens with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the gallery, 229 John St., Clayton.

Ms. Waite is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with a bachelor of fine arts degree and minor in art history. She was born in the United Kingdom, raised in New York City and has been immersed in art since childhood.

Ms. Waite and her partner, Julian Mangano, moved to the north country in 2016 from New York City and purchased 5 acres in Lewis County, where they created the organic farm Della Terra. The couple lives in Watertown and commutes to the farm, located near Whetstone Gulf State Park.

Asked about the “Into the Light Title” of her show, Ms. Waite said, “It’s that feeling of being out in nature, feeling the sun on your face, the breeze or water. It’s just coming back into the light, coming back into positivity, into goodness.”

Ms. Waite paints mostly in oil, as well as acrylic and watercolor. The north country and Thousand Island region has been the backdrop for her work for the last four years. She calls flowers a natural symbol of femininity and are a common motif throughout her works.

Last summer, Ms. Waite, realizing the lack of art shows because of the pandemic, hosted the pop-up gallery “Midsummer Dream” at her Watertown home, with pandemic guidelines in place.

“I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out and all the artists that I collaborated with were happy, which was the most important thing for me,” Ms.. Waite said. “I want to do it again this year.”

She started painting seriously when she was 15 years old while a sophomore at Laguardia High School in Manhattan.

“New York City does have a lot of nature. If you haven’t spent a lot of time there, you might not realize it,” Ms. Waite said.

She grew up at the Rockaway Beach neighborhood, Queens, with the ocean beach a block away from her house. She later moved to near Bronx Park, home of the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo.

For “Into the Light,” Ms. Waite wants the audience to feel completely immersed in nature and to join her “in the veneration of women.” Much of the imagery she creates is a communication of her connection to nature and how she experiences it as a woman.

“There’s this ancient connection that’s there,” Ms. Waite said. “I think women in general are more in tune with nature and nurturing — having that ability to create life within and from themselves. It’s just sort of being more compassionate, empathetic and loving. I definitely don’t want to downplay a man’s role in the world or a family unit, community or society. But I think there’s sort of element that comes from women that I’ve observed throughout my life.”

“Into the Light” will also showcase Ms. Waite’s jewelry, photography and floral arrangements.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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