By Katie Perry 
BELLEVILLE – While the Belleville Art Association  is celebrating 50 years of having a juried art show, this is the first time that the work of artists Alice Holleman and Lori Meeboer will be featured.
The show opens Thursday at 6 p.m. at the John M. Parrot Art Gallery. 
Holleman is a painter from Belleville, while Meeboer is from Corbyville.
Holleman’s entry in the show is an acrylic painting named Pears are Us. It shows a landscape background with abstract pears as the focus.
Meeboer’s multimedia piece is called Strings Attached. It’s one of the first works she’s done using many different materials, she said: “It has acrylic paint (and) an enamel paint in it, as well as string and other fabric. It also has wax.”
Meeboer grew up in a family of artists and started doing acrylic paintings when her children grew older.
But she put down her paintbrushes after a family tragedy this past June. “I didn’t think I could pick up a brush again,” she said.
Having trouble finding motivation and inspiration, she decided to speak to her cousin, who teaches art. It was her cousin who suggested to try something different, and so she came up with the idea of using different materials.
After putting adhesive on a canvas, Meeboer explained, she “grabbed some string and threw it on,” and “let the strings fall where they may.” When she looked at the piece again a day later, she realized that it looked like a landscape with flowers.
“I just used the string as the outlines for what I was going to paint. I let the strings speak,” she said.
It was her friend Holleman who urged her to enter the juried show: “She really pushed me to go and do it, and she did it with me.”
It wasn’t easy, she said.
“Dropping our pieces off to have them juried in the morning was absolutely terrifying, and waiting the couple of hours where your piece is being judged was terrible.”
Not being accepted into a juried show would be very emotional for an artist who is proud of their work, said Meeboer.
Meeboer and Holleman were nervous when they went to see if their pieces had been chosen for the show, she said. They were thrilled to find out they’d been successful.
“It’s one thing to create something and love it yourself, but it’s very satisfying when someone else tells you it’s good enough to be involved in a show.”