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From Havana to Barnesville: Myrtha Vega’s journey of artistic exploration

By Ann Mann

Within a short drive of our community resides an artist whose canvases breathe life into the icy wonders of the world. Meet Myrtha Vega, whose upcoming solo exhibit at the Lamar Arts Depot and Gallery invites viewers into a realm where glaciers and icebergs dance in strokes of acrylic brilliance.

The opening reception for “Icebergs and Glaciers and a Retrospective” is May 17th from 6-8 PM at the Lamar Arts Depot and Gallery located on Thomaston Street in downtown Barnesville. The Gallery is open Fridays from 11am to 2pm, Saturdays from 10am to 4pm, and Sundays from 2pm to 4pm. The exhibit runs through June.

Drawing inspiration from the timeless elegance of nature, Vega unveils wall-sized masterpieces that capture the essence of ancient ice formations. With concerns that these icy giants may go the way of dinosaurs, she hopes to preserve their beauty in her work.

With each brushstroke, she pays homage to the handiwork of the Creator, finding divine beauty in every crevice and curve. But Vega doesn’t confine her artistic vision to grand landscapes alone. Like a keen observer of life’s tapestry, she finds inspiration in the minutiae of everyday existence. From the flutter of birds’ wings to the intricate patterns of leaves, her artistry knows no bounds.

In a recent interview, Vega shared her journey from architect to the realm of fine art. “I wanted to see the world through a different lens,” she reflects. “To express the vibrancy of life in hues that transcend the ordinary.” Since 1999 she has been fully devoted to her second career as an artist, with countless shows and awards to her credit.

She is known for painting landscapes without using the color green, opting instead for a symphony of reds and oranges. Through her unconventional palette, Vega invites us to experience the perpetual allure of autumn.

Born into an artistic family in Havana, Cuba, Vega traces her creative roots back to her upbringing, where she was nurtured by a culture steeped in craftsmanship. Fleeing political turmoil in her youth, she embarked on a journey that would ultimately lead her to Georgia.

She graduated with a degree in Architecture from the University of Havana in 1957. She went on to earn a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Michigan. And upon graduation she was recruited to design public spaces for “Expo,” the 1967 Worlds’ Fair.

Now in her 90s, Vega continues to defy artistic boundaries, infusing her work with a sense of purpose and passion. Her studio is a sanctuary of creativity and bears witness to decades of dedication and inspiration. For instance, she draws every day, to keep her craft sharp. Just last year, she was rewarded for her craftsmanship with a show at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Buckhead.

But perhaps, beyond the strokes of paint and the whispers of ink, it is Vega’s unwavering faith that truly defines her artistry. Rooted in a deep reverence for the divine, she views her craft as both a gift and a calling—an obligation to share the beauty of God’s creation with the world.

As her latest exhibition takes center stage, Vega invites us to journey with her into a world where glaciers stand as silent sentinels of time, and each brushstroke is a prayer whispered to the heavens.

For in her art, we find not only beauty but a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit.

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