Multimedia artist Donna Wilson Irwin’s colorful artwork will be featured at Carry Out Cafe & Catering in a solo exhibition called “Flowers, Faces & Flights of Fancy” during May and June. The public is invited to a special reception on Wednesday, June 5 from 5-7 p.m. at the cafe at 155 State Street in Newburyport to meet the artist, see the artwork and enjoy light refreshments.

“I just love the joyful nature and variety of Donna’s art,” said Paula Simpson, owner of Carry Out Cafe & Catering. “Although many of her pieces are a bit whimsical, you can see that she is a talented and prolific artist.”

Wilson Irwin, originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and now a Newburyport resident, has long been involved in artistic pursuits. She is a classically trained singer, a former member of the Royal Conservatory of Music Choir, an actor in many productions, Director of Children’s Programming at Arbor Theatre in Ontario, and served as a Producer for First Night Toronto New Year’s Eve Festival, Interact, and the Shaw Festival. Locally, she was a Co-Producer of the Americana Rhythm & Roots Festival in Newburyport as well as active in the Belleville Roots Music Series with her husband Ken Irwin. She also sat on the board of directors as chair of programming for the Firehouse Center for the Arts.

For the past few years, she has been focusing on painting and collage, while honing her craft through online classes and workshops. “At first I was just learning how to create and understanding techniques. Lately, I have been gravitating toward more realistic portrayals – painting what you see, rather than what you think you should paint. Once you know colors and how they make sense with one another, you can have fun and be innovative,” Wilson Irwin said.

She continually takes classes and is inspired by each teacher’s unique perspectives and subject matter. “Recently, I have studied with Ardith Goodwin, who taught me the distorted eye, outrageous lines and how to just go for it. I’ve been influenced by colorist Donna Downey and Dana Primrose Bloede. I am currently studying with Renata Loree, learning about how subtle colors and nuances can make a difference.”

Wilson Irwin’s art was included in the Friends and Family Fun Night Fundraiser for Small Solutions Big Ideas at Riverwalk Brewing in Newburyport. To see more of her vibrant artwork, visit www.coloraturaspirit.com.

The paintings on display at Carry Out Cafe are available for purchase. Please contact Julie Cook at [email protected] or the artist directly.