ICC artist Pat Siuda selected for TIEC honor

COLUMBUS – A passion for horses coupled with great skill in design has led to success in equestrian art for one Isothermal student.

Pat Siuda of Mill Spring will be the official Artist-in-Residence at the Tryon International Equestrian Center during the month of August, officials announced recently.

As the Artist-in-Residence, Siuda will draw and paint in a vendor cabin studio near the Legends Club throughout August. During the month of September, her work will be on display in the new Legends Club Gallery.

“We are so proud of Pat for this accomplishment and we are excited that she’ll represent our great art program in such a fantastic venue,” said Kate Barkschat, director of the Isothermal Polk Center.

Siuda has enjoyed drawing for most of her life, but she never really considered herself an artist. Her time at Isothermal’s Polk Center has sharpened her skills to a fine point.

“When I was younger, I was really involved with horses,” said Siuda. “I taught lessons and showed horses. Then, I went to work Beacon Manufacturing and got into textile design.”

Her 30-year career as a designer, which included stints at Cone Jacquards in Cliffside and as a freelance designer, ended about 10 years ago as the region’s textile industry eroded.

She started taking art classes at Isothermal Polk Center about two years ago.

“I was able to take an early retirement, but I’m not one to sit around twiddling my thumbs,” said Siuda. “I cane over here to the Polk Center and started with beginning oil painting, then I took open studio, then watercolor, then drawing, then woodcarving, then stained glass.

“Everyone started joking that I should bring a blanket, so I wouldn’t have to drive back and forth,” she said with a smile.

Siuda credits several of her instructors for really helping her develop her talent.

“I could draw horses, but I really couldn’t draw people,” she said. “My instructor, Don Blackwell, always said that people were very difficult to draw and, if you could draw them, you could draw anything. He was right. He really pushed me and I got pretty good at it. Then, of course, I went back to drawing horses. I drew horses so much better and with such an attention to detail and movement that I had never thought of.”

Siuda credits her instructors and fellow students for giving her confidence in her beautiful work.

During her residency, there will also be a reception and she will give a talk on textile design. Dates and times for those events will be announced soon.

The Artist-in Residence program at TIEC is hosted and managed by the Equestrian Artists of Tryon Gallery. The program offers equestrian-inspired artists the opportunity to explore new techniques, collect reference materials for future work or expand a current body of work. Tammy Tappan is the artist and gallery owner behind the program.

More information may be found at https://www.equineinstincts.com/equestrian-artists-of-tryon. Contact the Isothermal Polk Center about art classes at 828-894-3092.

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