Sanctuary: Mary Engel & Cheryl Washburn

Lukasiewicz Gallery

July 1 – October 7, 2023

Artist Reception: Thursday July 6, 6pm

The Sanctuary exhibition combines the work of two artists with a shared passion for animals. Though their media of choice differs greatly, from Engel's large scale adorned animal figures to Washburn's peaceable kingdom paintings, these two artists are compassionate for and inspired by creatures of all kinds.

Coinciding Workshop - Plein Air Painting & Drawing at Sweet Olive Farm, Saturday September 30, 10 - 12pm
Off site Painting and Drawing activity with the animals at Sweet Olive Farm.
Free, but registration is required. Limited spots available.

Calling to all plein air painters! In celebration of the exhibition Sanctuary, works by Mary Engel and Cheryl Washburn, the Arts Center is visiting Sweet Olive Farm for enjoyment and to draw and paint the creatures that live there and the beautiful farm land on Saturday September 30, 10:00 – Noon.    Participants will need to bring their own painting or drawing supplies.  We will have extra easels as needed.  Please wear appropriate shoes, sunblock, hats, water and anything that will be helpful for your enjoyment.

About Sweet Olive Farm: Founded in 2010, Sweet Olive Farm is an animal sanctuary with rescue farm and exotic animals who live peacefully on 22 acres. Sweet Olive Farm is located at 880 Parkview Rd in Winterville. 



“I live in Athens, Georgia with my husband Chris, Gabrielle our dog and 300,000 honeybees. Time spent in nature deepens my connection with the land and its inhabitants. We grow native plants for the pollinators and birds. I am always thrilled to see them enjoy the bounty. I love visiting sacred places, hiking, swimming and encounters with animals. Favorite sightings have been pumas, condors, wombats, Tasmanian devils, sloths, coati, owls, hawks and bears.

I have been sculpting animals for over 30 years. My desire is to depict the animal as an individual, reveal their profound spirit and call attention to the needs of its herd, pack, pod or family. My intention is to share stories for those who cannot speak for themselves and to advocate for multi species environmental justice. This body of work is a response to the unprecedented global crisis of species loss and endangerment. The grief I feel at this loss is rivaled only by the beauty of the animal’s presence. I respond to this simultaneous joy and sadness by creating pieces that are a celebration of the animal."  - Mary Engel

Najin Rhino in show

Cheryl Washburn’s inspiration for the Sanctuary series of oil paintings derives from her love of animals and appreciation for those who care for them.  Included in her body of work are animals from three local non-profit animal rescues including Sweet Olive Farm Animal Rescue, Camp Critter Wildlife Rescue, and Primarily Possums Wildlife Rescue. Also included in the show is the horse Cricket, who brings much inspiration to the artist as she carries her through the fields to observe nature in all its beauty. 

“I am an Athens native who is passionate about animal rescue and have been a supporter and volunteer at several non-profit animal rescue organizations over the years. I have been painting for the last 30 years, and painting in oils for the last 7 years.”  - Cheryl Washburn