what I came here for

April postcard RGBPlease join us

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

Please visit our website


Ellie Reinhold

CITY STRUCTURE_scaled4web_P1080214Ellie Reinhold

Back in graduate school a respected visiting artist came to my studio. She took in my digs in a single panoramic sweep, locked eyes with me and intoned gravely, “You have got to focus.” I was scared straight. In the years since I’ve stayed pretty faithfully inside the rails of what has become my oeuvre: iconic figurative paintings with a story.

In 2010, 2 decades later, my dedication failed. I was knocked right off my tracks by the simplest of events: a vibrant fall leaf season. Each day I would walk to my studio through the glowing woods and arrive with a head full of staggering color. Apparently, being a couple years out from cancer treatment, the timing was just right for me to say to hell with the rails and have an unfettered fling with color. Break the rules! Meander! Play!

I continue to have all sorts of fun in my new category, as well as my old. But that small permission 5 years ago opened a veritable Pandora’s box and a whole slew of “problems” arrived. I now have two totally different bodies of work—and often two totally different audiences. (Are you interested in the figurative or the landscape?) For each show I need to choose one sort of work, or the other, for focus within the exhibit.

But it seems that inside the “new” category I am continually diverging. That one Inspiring Fall faded. “Landscape” became “abstract/landscape”, then became “pattern/abstract/landscape” or “conceptual landscape” or textural exploration ignoring landscape altogether, then became…ROSE WOOD_scaled4web_P1080258

This show. Which has developed into a veritable study in divergence.

Still, there are several threads I’m following (swinging around on, tying in knots, weaving then unraveling, flinging to the wind):

Surface quality and surface depth: I prefer (for now) to remain within the limits of acrylics, but I jealously admire the surface qualities of cold wax, encaustic and oil. Occasionally I see an acrylic surface I can truly love and several pieces here, or parts of them, come close to that pinnacle.

Palette: Color play! This is how I ended up off the rails to begin with.

Title/theme: Some pieces here were completed before our theme was conceived. But the concept uncharted has had a direct influence on others. I must confess that in my divergent mind the “un” fell away and I kept thinking charted… data graphing, grids and patterns. How about a bubble chart of a forest? Or a bar graph of a city? This is how Forest Grid, Big Cheese and related pieces arrived.

At the show you can let me know if you notice other threads I’ve left off my list.FALL FOREST GRID_scaled4web_P1080087

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

Please visit our website


_20150408_102728Nell Chandler

After Ali and Ellie and I brainstormed many suggestions of titles for our featured artist show Ali finally came up with Uncharted.

We could all relate to that title because they both had children that are getting ready to fly the nest and  I knew I had some uncharted territory of my own. I knew there were techniques I have long wanted to try with my jewelry.

I’d always wanted to try to work with colored pencils on metal and had just never found the time. This was the  perfect time. But I found the medium tedious as I applied layer after layer to achieve the depth I wanted to achieve. Plus the colors that I am normally drawn to wouldn’t show up on the metal as well as the colors that are not a part of my regular palette. I tried the gesso ground technique and contemplated the acrylic spray in between each layer but the gesso was just like white paper and I knew the acrylic spray would  eventually end up as gunk.

So I ended up scratching the surface with a stylist to created a rough surface for the prisma color to adhere to. It still took layers and layers but I got some satisfaction. I eventually accented it with a rapidograph (technical pen) and a white paint pen.

In the middle of this process, when I was getting discouraged, I was talking with a friend. I said how I had all these designs in my sketch book back when designs were just flowing out of me when my children were young that I never had a chance to make. We decided that that too was uncharted territory. So I fabricated a very linear group that has just been sitting on the pages of my sketchbook for years.



March_postcard_RGBPlease come join us for our reception

It’s all about the story


Hillsborough is well known for its art community and the nationally known authors who choose to make the town their home. Each year members of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts join with one of their author neighbors for a show called IT’S ALL ABOUT THE STORY. This event, now in its third year, features author Lee Smith, winner of the North Carolina Award for Literature, the Southern Book Critics Circle Award, the Thomas Wolfe Award, the Robert Penn Warren Prize for Fiction and recipient of the 1999 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Lee Smith is a masterful storyteller, renowned for short stories that exhibit Southern charm and a wry sense of humor. The artists of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, together with Ms. Smith chose to respond to short stories from her book, Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger.

After reading through all of the stories painter Linda Carmel returned to the first story, “Bob, A Dog.” Says Carmel, “in the opening of the story, Lee Smith graphically describes the husband, David, on the threshold of a new life – leaving his wife Cheryl and house behind. The story ultimately centers on Cheryl but I found myself still thinking about David and the mixture of nostalgia, fear and excitement that he must be experiencing.

Painter Lolette Guthrie describes how she arrived at her piece: “While reading Lee Smith’s wonderful stories in Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger I kept thinking about how so much of the real story was hidden beneath the more obvious narrative. About half way through the collection I came to the story “Between The Lines” and experienced an ah ha moment! The result is an abstraction exploring the idea that often in life one must not only know how to read between the lines but must also be able to see beneath the surface.”

Alice Levinson created a cloth composition, “No Stranger To Blue Eyes,” a play on the title of Smith’s story collection. Though varied in setting, personae or narrative twist, these stories share a common theme. “To me they read as narratives in which the personal drama in individual daily lives is affected by the ever-present reality of human mortality, finally personified by the blue-eyed stranger in the ultimate story,” says Levinson. “Mortality, as presented by Smith, is a natural aspect of human existence, to be understood and accepted, not feared. It becomes a prompt for opportunity, enriching the present moment. Finely drawn characters are the hallmark of these bittersweet tales. Each is clothed in specific details which makes them instantly familiar and endearing. Their courage and dignity is their backbone. She animates them with humor and affection and my resulting abstract hopefully reflects the colorful folks I met on the pages of her volume.”

Chris Graebner, a painter, was inspired to make a mobile instead of a painting. Graebner occasionally creates lighthearted mobiles and decided to approach the story through this medium. “The young protagonist in Toastmaster is working on his vocabulary and enjoys using his newly learned words. I thought it would be fun to juxtapose these words to create interesting images.”

Opening Reception

Feb. 27


To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

Please visit our website

Art All Around

artallaroundEach year the members of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts has a group show. We decide on a title at our end of year retreat and slip the show in before we begin our monthly Featured Artists shows.  This year Ali thought of the title Art All Around and it’s a lucky thing because we are doing some reconstruction where the work was supposed to hang so now it is literally Art All Around…the gallery. Each one is labeled and easy to find.

Please come join us for our opening reception  the last Friday in January.


Opening Reception

January 30


Please visit our website


Resolutions 2015

MailChimp_JuriedCardHere is a little preview of images that Jude took after the brand new show was installed on Monday. It looks great!

Resollution 3Resolution4Gallery_Resolution1Please come visit us Friday and meet the artists of Hillsborough Gallery of Arts very first juried art competition!

Opening Reception

Jan. 9th


121 N. Churton ST