Kent Stark’s newest art exhibit features jazz-inspired paintings

Issac Profitt

The exhibit opened Oct. 6 when students, faculty and the community were introduced to the artwork of Elizabeth Babb, art instructor at the Kent State East Liverpool campus.

Carolyn Guisinger, freshman pre-fashion design and merchandising major, attended the showings all week.

“I really like the paintings, my favorite one is an abstract piece where it looked like the faces of dolls were floating on the canvas,” Guisinger said.

About 30 people came to the exhibit on opening night and gave the artist a positive reception on the vibrant array of more than a dozen portraits.

Babb paints in what she calls a “fragmented reality,” which has pieces of natural and man-made forms. She said she often listens to jazz music while painting to influence her creativity, explaining the contrast in colors in her pieces.

“If I’m listening to something harsh like Rage Against the Machine, I’ll usually paint with more aggressive colors like red,” Babb said.

Her paintings ranged in themes from a day at the circus to others that are untitled, leaving the audience to use its imagination.

Babb has been perfecting her craft of expressing herself through painting most her life.

“By the time I could pick up a pencil, I’ve had a paint brush in my hand,” Babb said.

Babb began painting at the age of 5. At 13 she began studying under the instruction of accomplished artist Glen Michaels of Michigan.

Guisinger spoke to Babb about her paintings and discussed a new medium she may start experimenting with.

“She was really more interested in me studying fashion,” Guisinger said. “She mentioned that she might start experimenting with cloths and fabrics.”

Babb gave a tip to aspiring painters.

“Get good at drawing the human anatomy,” Babb said. “Once you master the detailed stuff it’s easier to branch of into other types of drawing or painting.”

Contact Issac Profitt at [email protected].