Kelly Wonderly has never known a time when she wasn't passionate about art. The local artist will share some of her work Thursday as part of a show at the Arts Council of Kern's Access Center Gallery.

"I’ve always felt most like myself when I am creating," she wrote in an email. "But that can include cooking, gardening, making costumes and building things as well as traditional art endeavors."

Wonderly, who has called Bakersfield home since 1966, said drawing is close to her heart but painting is her primary medium. The latest show features about 20 works including acrylic paintings.

"There is definitely a connection to the seven painting series for which my show is named: 'Be Home By Dark,'" she wrote. "These paintings depict memories of my neighborhood and friends and some of the experiences we had. Some of the people depicted have passed away."

Her painting "Joe the Pony" is one of her favorites.

"I’m the one on the pony and I can remember as if it were yesterday, how absolutely thrilled I was to be sitting on a horse."

She said she spent a year working on the paintings and wasn’t done with the subject so she went on to do smaller studies. Then she went on a print-making mission, creating over 70 monoprints, six of which are on display.

Two other artists also have work on display in the gallery space. Belinda Rickett has six pieces at the show, reflecting her passion for her Hispanic and indigenous heritage.

Isaac Buaya, who has 11 pieces on display, considers it his goal as an artist "to disrupt and mangle reality," according to the ACK news release.

The reception will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the gallery, 1330 Truxtun Ave. Admission is free and complimentary hors d'oeuvres will be available.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter: @realstefanidias.

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