RIDGWAY — Smethport artist Julie Mader started a series of works inspired by the fairy tale Snow White two winters ago. That series is now being exhibited at the Elk County Council on the Arts, and will have its opening reception tonight.

“Snow White Awoke,” Mader said, evolved from the experimenting she did with acrylic gels while reading from a used copy of the book.

“The line ‘Alas, Snow White awoke’ just needed to be made into a collage,” she said.

Mader creates art for herself and for commission, and also teaches for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She said she regularly teaches intense residences through her involvement with the Council.

Art, she said, has played a “major role” in her life since youth. She works mostly in paint, but said she works also in other mediums like water colors, acrylics and mosaics.

In “Snow White Awoke,” Mader said she tried to explore how the text of the Snow White story she read could be reinterpreted to stand on its own.

Mader said she recently finished a residency in Smethport in which she worked with adult probationers. They together created a 60 foot mosaic that she said will be visible in Smethport from Route 6.

Mader said she thinks of herself as a creative problem solver expressing opinions through visual art.

“I don’t think artists really make a choice to ‘become an artist,” she said. “For me its simply that I don’t know how to not be an artist.”

“Snow White Awoke” will be exhibited at the Elk County Council on the Arts at 237 Main Street in Ridgway in the sales gallery through May 5.

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