Color Scheme

Mother-Daughter Duo Hosts Annual Art Show

Writer / Megan Arszman
Photographer / Linda Oldiges

When you grow up with an art teacher for a mother, you grow up in a home filled with a variety of mediums you can play with. So it’s no surprise that Deb Slack grew up to be an artist, just like her mother, Barb Gregory.

The mother-daughter artistic duo now has their own studio in downtown Carmel, where the two spend a couple days each week creating art in their own ways. “You definitely see a difference in our styles,” Slack says. “We both love focusing on color and light in our paintings, but we express it differently. I paint more traditionally, in a more impressionistic and representational way. My passion is in landscapes and anything in nature that catches my eyes, with flowers and still life.”

Meanwhile, Slack says her mother paints in a more abstract way. “She’s very expressive in her painting,” she says.

Each year attendees at their annual art show challenge themselves to figure out who did the paintings. However, Slack says no one guesses correctly. “My mom is very young and vibrant at heart, and it comes out in her work,” she says.

This year’s show is titled “Abstracting Our World,” and will begin on August 5 with a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The show will remain open six days a week, located in Art on Main Gallery and Gifts.

“Our show is a bit of a departure in style for me,” Slack says. “I think most people are familiar with my more traditional work, so having primarily abstract work in this show is a bit unusual for me. However, I will definitely have some abstract landscapes and lots of color and light.”

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s show will benefit the Northside Food Pantry, located at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. “It’s always been important for my mom and I to give back through our art, so we’ve always tried to choose a group organization that we feel strongly about so we can share some of our proceeds,” Slack says.

Slack has a personal connection to the church, as it’s been where her family has attended church for almost 30 years, and it’s where her children were baptized. “It’s just been a really special place for me and my kids for a long time,” she says. “They do wonderful things there as well.”

For years Slack has been asked if her artistic talents were in her genes, thanks to her mother’s background. What people didn’t know was that Slack was actually adopted by Gregory. It wasn’t until four years ago that Slack found her birth mother. That’s when she discovered that her art influence was not only by nurture, but also nature. Her birth mother was a painter before she started decorating cakes and cookies.

“I didn’t start painting until about 12 years ago,” Slack says. “One of the first questions my birth mother asked me was if I am artistic. So that was a cool full-circle moment.”

You can celebrate family and art during the “Abstracting Our World” gallery event through the end of August at Art on Main Gallery and Gifts, located at 111 West Main Street in Carmel. Or visit them on their website at

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