A watercolor artist and local art teacher, the late Marie Snow Greene had a long relationship with Okaloosa-Walton College through its arts and cultural programs. The OWC District Board of Trustees recently approved naming the circular visual arts building at the college's Niceville Campus in her honor as the Marie Snow Greene Visual Arts Building.
The public will be able to enjoy Greene's art work when a collection of her watercolor paintings will be on display from June 22 to July 24 in the college's Holzhauer Gallery located in the Mattie Kelly Arts Center complex. The exhibit is free and open to the public on Monday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. At the close of the exhibit, a selection of more than 20 of Greene's watercolors will be available for purchase through a live art auction on Friday, July 25 at 6:00 p.m. The auction will be conducted by professional art appraiser and auctioneer Bill Garrett of Fort Walton Beach and is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Inspired by her association with OWC of more than four decades, Marie Greene, who passed away in March 2008, left a charitable remainder trust gift to the college valued in excess of $2 million and contributed more than 70 personal works of art and 180 art history books which are now the nucleus of a new artist's research library at the OWC Mattie Kelly Arts Center. Greene was a student and friend of Emil Holzhauer and several other master artists. Holzhauer would often visit Greene in her home studio in Poquito Bayou and Holzhauer's encouragement and influence can be seen in Greene's work.
Karen Valdes, curator of the OWC's Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries said, "Her watercolors have their own expressive qualities - the colors are truly vivid." Linda Heflin, a student, friend and neighbor of Greene, said that "something needs to be said about Marie Greene the art teacher." Heflin described her "extraordinary technique in teaching brush strokes" and noted Greene's own paintings "have a strength of detail. Being the recipient of one of Marie's paintings was a high honor for the few that received them," said Heflin. In addition to naming the Marie Snow Greene Visual Arts Building in her memory, a portion of her generous gift to the college previously named the OWC science building in honor of her husband the late Robert E. Greene Jr., a naval officer, engineer and fishing boat captain who shared Marie's passion for the arts and his own passion for the sea, until his death in 1992. Also on display from June 22 to 24 in the college's McIlroy Gallery will be selections from the OWC permanent art collection and recent acquisitions. Work from Emil Holzhauer and Salvador Dali, as well as masks from around the world from the Dr. Anne and Dr. Henning Harmuth Collection, which is housed at the OWC Art Galleries, will be on display.
The OWC Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries are located on the Niceville Campus of Okaloosa-Walton College at 100 College Boulevard in Niceville and are open Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact the galleries at (850)729-6044 or go online at www.owc.edu/arts.