THE BEAUTY OF BETSY PAULY
Beloved artist Elizabeth “Betsy” Dedon Pauly (1957-2016)—statuesque, beautiful and blonde; smart, talented and vivacious—her spirit is with us still shining in her poignant watercolors now filling the gallery walls of Hyde House on the hill.
In her too brief lifetime, Betsy sees beauty everywhere and is compelled to share what she sees. Her artist statement for her solo exhibition at artCentral reads:
All of Betsy’s paintings speak with an engagingly soft power as her artistic voice vibrates through her many, many images of the natural places she most loves—lush gardens and expansive seascapes, Bermuda and the Buffalo River, Norway and Florida. Dipping into a muted palette Betsy skillfully lays down watercolor washes then enriches these with shadowy depths and pops of bright pigment. Adding her distinctive, signature detailing with delicate lines etched in water-based ink, she gives each painting a charming clarity. This is “something I picked up somewhere,” she modestly explains.
Betsy’s as gracious in her living and her loving as she is in her painting. She sees the world around her with knowing eyes and responds always with a depth of genuine caring and compassion. She founded The Carthage Spay-Neuter Assistance Program and has rescued and placed hundreds of stray dogs and cats.
When I was new to Carthage I first met Betsy when we’re both shopping in the health food store. Approaching with a radiant smile and a warm hug as though I am her long lost sister, she seems to know all about me. Apparently her very good friend Sally Armstong, then director of artCentral, has mentioned to her that I’m invited to give a solo exhibition. Betsy tells me how much support Sally has given her and how excited she is for me to have the same experience.
On my opening night, Betsy and her husband Chuck are some of the first to arrive. With Sally and Dan Armstrong and other friends, they treat me to a post reception dinner. When Sally is called away from town, Betsy steps in as docent during gallery hours to greet guests coming to view my work.
Betsy and Chuck divide their time between their three homes in Carthage, Minnesota and Florida, so our encounters are too few and rather random except for Marian Days when they always return to Carthage. What fun to meet up at their house and walk down Grand Avenue to share a meal under the big tents. Our smiles in my photographs posted on facebook reflect the chorus of our delight as we meander about sharing laughter and sticks of Vietnamese ice cream and big cups of bubble tea.
Betsy wasn’t always a practicing artist. She took a degree in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota and was General Manager of Employer Lifelines in Minneapolis until moving to Dallas. Meeting and marrying her best friend, Chuck Pauly, dramatically changes the trajectory of her life. As their love deepens Betsy’s inspiration to paint becomes ignited. Her paintings emerge as vibrant expressions of the passion she finds in their relationship. Seen around town in one of their frequent, spontaneous embraces, they are known as “the most romantic couple ever.”
The beauty of Betsy’s romance with her dear love, Chuck, and the beauty of her romance with all of life gracefully shine on today in her elegant retrospective, “The Beauty of Betsy Pauly”, on exhibit at artCentral, 18 August through 17 September 2017.
The opening reception takes place this Friday evening, 18 August 2017, 6 to 8 pm at Hyde House, 1110 East Thirteenth in Carthage. The public is invited. Admission is free. Donations are welcome.
Checkett & Pauly, P.C. are the generous underwriters for this Exhibition.
All purchase proceeds go to the BETSY PAULY FUND for artCENTRAL.
Gallery hours: Fridays & Saturdays 12:00-5:00, Sundays 1:00-5:00, All other days call (417) 358-4404 to schedule a visit.