Marshfield News Herald, Friday, January 2, 2009
by Harry Toufar

Artist recreates natural world for Tack exhibit

SPENCER--The gallery of the Lucille Tack Center for the Arts is gearing up for an exciting four months as it welcomes artwork from around the state.

Kicking off the 2009 portion of this current schedule of artists is Tamlyn Akins. Bringing her artwork north from Black Earth, Akins brings us "Fun with Frogs, Shapes and Sky."

Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Akins always dreamed of living and working in the country. Since before she could sign her name, she knew she wanted to be an artist. This desire took her west to California where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (with high distinction) from California College of Arts (formerly known as California College of Arts & Crafts).

In 1983 she moved back to Madison to continue her career. Since this move back, her work has been exhibited internationally, honored with awards; published as note cards, limited edition reproductions and children's book illustrations; and purchased for numerous private and corporate collections. In 2001 she moved her home and studio to Black Earth, making her dream come true.

In the words of Akins, "I am an artist with many interests." Her specialties include florals, animal portraits, naturescapes and mandalas (circular symmetrical designs). Akins is most noted for her watercolors and pastels. She also makes paper and beaded jewelry. She has dabbled in the ancient art of origami, making ornaments, boxes and wall hanging reliefs.

Her first love is painting and drawing as she creates stunning images in watercolor and pastels. Akins is fascinated with textures, shapes and surfaces, leading her to recreate the feel of her object, as she sees it. Her greatest inspiration comes through an intimate relationship with nature. Art Muscle magazine describes her work as "strongly rendered with a subtle hint of Impressionism."

An opening reception will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., January 9. For your listening pleasure, the smooth jazz sounds of James Voss and Jim Rickard will provide a special ambiance to the reception. Art patrons visiting the gallery will have the opportunity to register for free tickets to future Tack Center performances. Make sure to find your way down to the high school commons to enjoy some wonderful refreshments. The exhibit can also be viewed at the time of performances and by appointment.

For information, call the LTCA Box Offices at 659-4499. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Harry Toufar is a correspondent for Spencer. Share Spencer area news with him by e-mail at or call 659-4429.