As the weekend approaches the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council gears up for the opening of its biggest exhibit featuring the works of Opal Black and her students.

The exhibit will open Saturday, with a reception from 2-4 p.m., and run through Oct. 29 at the River North Gallery.

“It’s just such a great exhibit with all of the different artists’ works in one place,” Julie Crouch, executive director of the CTFAC, said. “It’s a privilege I think to paint with Opal for sure. They all use different mediums and (Black) is so skilled in all of them that she’s able to teach, guide and inspire them in whatever medium they want to use.”

The exhibit has been featured at the CTFAC once a year with the students' works getting better and better each year.

“It’s really neat to get to see from when I starting working here to now how everybody’s work has changed and how they’ve mastered their mediums a little more each year,” said Miller Wells, CTFAC administrative assistant.

Some of Black’s students include Beverly Gillespie, Cathey Pendleton, Evelyn Velchoff, June King, Kay La Rae Watson and Treva Wallace.

“After many years of wishing I had time to paint, the opportunity finally came my way when my husband and I retired and moved to the family ranch near Dublin,” Pendleton wrote in her bio. “I have always been interested in color and design, an interest enhanced by some classes many years ago. I joined Opal Black’s painting class in 2006. This class has been incredibly fun and invaluable in fostering this interest.”

All of Black’s students talk about not only the value of her classes, but what a great person she is.

“This is my fourth season with this remarkable person, Opal Black. I have tried to absorb all that she teaches,” La Rae Watson wrote in her bio. “I enjoy her group of students and consider all them as friends. Opal says, ‘We learn from each other.’ Opal admonishes us to ‘Strive for a poetic painting, one that establishes a mood. Use reality only as a take-off point. The amateur reports, the professional creates!’”

Each student and Black herself will have paintings for sale at the gallery and each has donated one that goes towards the CTFAC’s big Ragin’ Cajun fundraiser.