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Veteran, newcomer will show artworks

Diana Beach-Stamper, a veteran of the arts, and Robert Peterson, a highly recognized newcomer, will show two separate exhibitions opening Saturday at the Leslie Powell Foundation Gallery.

'Something New'

Beach-Stamper, of Indiahoma, is widely known for her large oil paintings, often equestrian, nature and Native American inspired, making her a prolific artist for almost 50 years. But due to physical restrictions she recently moved into a different direction and developed a new style working on small canvases and mixing media  pencil, colored pencils, ink and acrylics. Her exhibition, "Something New," will feature her new works with subject matter ranging from nature and wildlife to portraiture.

"God has given me a lot," Beach-Stamper said. "Physically, I just can't do some of the things, which is why I don't travel anymore. And why I can't paint the big paintings. But when you lose something, you replace it with something else. And it's really been fun because it's easy to get stuck in one thing that you're known for and that you have a demand for. But sometimes things force you out of that. And I'm having a good time. I don't have to make a living at this anymore. I do it because it's like breathing for me."

Saturday will be Beach-Stamper's third time to show at the Leslie Powell Foundation Gallery, and she is anticipating to have about 60 of her paintings, mostly her new works but a few older pieces from her private collections. Her last show at the gallery was almost a sell-out and she's expecting to have another good and fun show. She's most excited to chat with old and new friends while showing that, despite her circumstances, she hasn't stopped experimenting with her art.

"I'm still experimenting and, trust me, I failed at everything I've ever touched," Beach-Stamper said. "I've failed miserably, but I'm tenacious. Some people call it stubborn. And I just kept working at it. To me, that's the fun of it, the challenge of figuring something out. And once you get it figured out, you can get bored. So then it's time to do something different."

'His-Story'

Peterson started working on his exhibition, "His-Story," after he created his first painting four years ago. That same day, in June 2012, after completing his initial painting, he was told he needed surgery to improve his quality of life. When he left the doctor's office, he purchased a $6 paint set and a $7 double canvas. Since then, Peterson's spontaneous, abstract portraits are sought after by collectors and fans worldwide, including professional athletes, celebrities and platinum recording artists.

When he first started painting he used acrylics; then he experimented with spray paints and finally landed at oils. The show will feature snippets of those three media and a few Copic marker pieces, which according to Peterson is what caught the attention of some of his first celebrity collectors. He's hoping to present at least 20-30 pieces in his exhibition, and Saturday will be his first time to show at his hometown gallery.

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