Art lovers can come in from cold and warm up to the sites ofla memoria della Toscana,the first private art show of West Virginia University senior Nathan Hamric, an art major from Jane Lew. The art show, currently on view at Zenclay Galleries in Morgantown, features eight paintings from Hamrics summer study abroad in the small town of Cortona, Italy. Characterized by gestural brush strokes and vivid colors, his artwork depicts the rich, beautiful Tuscan landscape.

The paintings are very warmlike a hot summer day,he said.Theyre renditions of the warm, comfortable feelings I had for the area.Besides his warm feelings, Hamric also experienced warm weather, courtesy of Italys hottest summer since 1940. He said the drought and heat only intensified the already bright colors in the area.

The grass was extra gold, there were not as many clouds in sky and everything was extremely well-lit,he noted. Hamric said traveling to Italy is definitelya mustfor anyone serious about painting.

It has a huge effect on the palette. You see more colors, the pigments from the Italian area. Grays are pretty much eliminated when you go there,he explained. Zenclay gallery and café, located at 2862 University Avenue, is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Hamric invites his University friends and the general public to join him for a reception at Zenclay Saturday, Jan. 31, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to conclude his art show.

Hamric spent two and half months in Italy last summer during a study abroad program coordinated through the University of Georgia. In addition to creating his own paintings, he also took classes in art history and studied painting and printmaking. He will graduate in May with a bachelors degree in art, with an emphasis in painting.