it’s all about the story

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“Out Of Abaton” is John Bemis‘ new interpretation of the well-loved tale of Pinocchio. Just as the wooden puppet changes into a human boy, Bemis transforms this classic story with fantastic creatures, alchemy, and the mystery of human emotion–all woven into the magical and glorious landscape of Italy. The artists of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts depict this fantasic tale in paintings, photography, metal, fiber, glass, ceramics, and wood. It is a show for all those who appreciate rich story telling and local art.

About John Claude Bemis:

John Claude Bemis is an award-winning author and also an inspiring speaker and musician. Bemis grew up in North Carolina and became an elementary school teacher after studying Art History and Education at UNC-Chapel Hill. His experiences of reading, exploring, and teaching naturally evolved into a career of writing. He received the Exellence in Teaching Award from UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Education and was chosen as North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature in 2013. He lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Reception

Feb 24

6-9

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The Art of Giving

holiday-rgbEach holiday season the members of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts transform the gallery to showcase original ornaments and hand-made gifts. The gallery’s 21 members work in a variety of media, providing a wide array of art and fine craft for holiday shoppers.

The glass art includes hand-blown vessels, ornaments, solar lights, paperweights, and jewelry. Fiber art on display includes framed collage quilts and hand dyed stitched cloth, knitted scarves; and fabric handbags. The jewelry in the show covers a variety of styles and techniques, from copper and bronze to sterling and fine silver necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings, some with gold accents and stones.  Visitors will also find metal sculpture, pottery, turned wood, enamels, and carved ironwood with turquoise and silver inlay. Fine art photography, oil and acrylic painting, encaustics, scratchboard, and mixed media work festively surround the three dimensional pieces on pedestals.

Explore the wonderful art exhibited at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts to find a special gift for that special person.

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Preview of the Orange County Studio Tour

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Go Figure

Marcy Lansman

Many of these paintings express my nostalgia for a kind of childhood play that seems rare today, nostalgia for a time when children ran around outdoors uncoached and unscheduled. I’m intrigued by the excitement and collaboration that emerges from that kind of play. Below is a painting of one young boy pouring water on another. I love the combination of concentration and curiosity on the pourer’s face

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This and several other paintings are based on fifty-year old photos of my sons. I’ve solicited candid photos from friends and family, but often what I get back are smiling faces looking straight into the camera. So I’ve taken to lurking around public playgrounds with my camera, concerned that some parent will suspect I’m up to no good. My friends assure me that at my age I don’t need to worry, but I keep a “bio-card” in my pocket just to prove I’m a legitimate artist.

For the painting below, I photographed a group of girls cooking up a witches brew of moss and leaves at the bottom of a slide. (I’ve transformed the slide into a kettle.) No one was urging them on or encouraging them to be creative. I watched them for fifteen minutes charmed by their obliviousness and intensity.

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Many of my paintings are labeled “ mixed media” because of a technique I use to create the surface. I put down layers of various kinds of rice paper and gesso, producing a random pattern. Then I use layers of watery acrylic paint to create the image. Since paper and gesso take the paint differently, the surface varies in texture and color. This technique is one way of avoiding the “plasticky” look of acrylic paint, making acrylic paint look a little like watercolor.

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Go Figure

Domain” is part of a series of paintings using hooped skirts as a metaphor for the constrictions society places on women. In this piece, I wanted to depict a woman’s life as defined by her home, which becomes the empire over which she has control.

Before starting, I decided to use the old masters’ palette of colors – Yellow Ochre, Payne’s Grey, and Burnt Umber – to which I added Mars Black and Titanium White.

I covered the entire canvas in a thin layer of modeling paste and then fashioned the skirt and figure with another layer. I built up the background with more modeling paste. Next, I drew the scene that I imagined going on under the skirt with pencil and began painting. I painted the surfaces where I applied the second layer of texture brown and then wiped away the excess, exposing the “thumbprint” of the painting.

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I moved through the rooms from left to right, using masking tape to help me keep the architectural lines straight. In the ballroom, I decided to apply modeling paste to the pillars and the drapes to give them more dimension. Later I added texure to the chandelier too.

 

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After I completed the scene under the skirt I began on the figure. I wanted her dress to have the look of polished stone, as if the woman has become a part of her home.

I played with different colors for the background, finally settling on shades of Sienna that I highlighted with Ochre and Gold to mimic the sky that you can see through the windows. I then echoed the texture and pattern of the background in the walls of the ballroom.

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I tried several different versions of the headdress and finally chose to add some hair to frame her face and a pendant to connect the hues of the background with those below the skirt.

Domain” was complete.

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With thanks to my husband, Harold Carmel for documenting this process.

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Go Figure

linda and Marcy and Lynn

Linda Carmel is a painter who creates richly textured canvases that focus on the experience of women today. She writes, “The paintings in Go Figure! explore the transition from girlhood to womanhood where outer appearance becomes circumscribed and the carefree girl is hidden.”

In this series she has used the hooped skirt as a metaphor for how women worked within these confines to find autonomy.  She explains, “When girls enter womanhood, both historically and culturally, there are often confining restrictions of dress and behavior that apply.  In times and places where women were unable to voice their opinions, they embroidered their thoughts onto household fabrics and clothing. I have incorporated these unspoken words into many of my new paintings.”

Carmel adds, “Women’s fashion has come a long way from the era of the hoop skirt, but women are still forced to dress the part and hide elements of themselves in order to shatter the remains of the glass ceiling.”

 

Lynn Wartski’s imaginative sculptures portray the human body as art dolls.  Wartski states, “This medium allows me to explore and play with a wide variety of materials and techniques yet still maintain visual cohesion. Inspiration for these small scale figures comes from places both common and unexpected. I delve into the worlds of art, literature, mythology, legend, everyday life.” Lynn uses a variety of materials in her mixed media dolls, but it is her use of metal that links these dolls to her earlier work.

Wartski adds, “For Go Figure!, I have continued to concentrate on gesture and expression.  Though there is no one theme that unifies all my sculptures, there is the intent for each to represent a moment within some narrative. My hope is that the viewer will be drawn into the small details of each doll and hopefully enter into the story she may have to tell.”

 

Marcy Lansman writes of her new work for Go Figure!: “Many of these paintings express my nostalgia for a kind of childhood play that seems rare today, nostalgia for a time when children ran around outdoors uncoached and unscheduled.  I’m intrigued by the excitement and collaboration that emerges from that kind of spontaneity. Several paintings are based on fifty-year old photos of my sons.  I’ve solicited candid photos from friends and family, but often what I get back are smiling faces looking straight into the camera.  So for new subject matter, I’ve taken to photographing children in local public playgrounds.”

Opening Reception

Friday, September 30

6-9

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ART from shows

 

 

Dreaming in Color

 

 

pringle's vasePringle Teetor

The theme of “Dreaming in Color” is perfect for me with regards to an art show.  I have always loved colors, mixing them, keeping them pure and combining colors with gold and silver in their chemistry to create new and beautiful colors. In one of the groups of pieces I have used colors in a haphazard way, combining and applying colors in a painterly fashion or as lines of three.  I studied painting in college and loved the work of Morris Louis. He would layer veils and rivulets of color over and over each other until you couldn’t see where one started and another began. I wanted to translate this into glass by using colors as strokes applied over and over to create a bold statement on glass instead of canvas.

The Incalmo bowls are made using a long and complicated process. Usually they are made with two or more glass blowers assembling each section or bubble of color one at a time.  Since I mostly work alone I had to figure out a way to produce these pieces with pure sections of color stacked on top of each other. I’ve always been inspired by the work of Boyd Sugiki and after visiting his studio in Seattle 5 years ago I decided to give his technique a try.  Long tubes of each color are blown exactly the same and annealed. Then they are cut into sections on a diamond saw. These sections then have to be ground and polished one at a time on a flat lapidary wheel.

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When I return to the studio, I set the sections up in order in small electric kiln that heats them up to about 1000 degrees. Since they change color once they are hot, I map out carefully the order of the sections.  Then I pick up one section at a time on a hot pipe and stack them on top of each other. The fit must be exact!  Once the pieces are stacked, all the lines and grooves melted out and the connections are tight, I gather more glass over the entire stack and form the pieces.  This is time consuming and very precise work, the complete opposite of the organic painterly pieces.

Many of the pieces in this show are sandblasted. When glass is shiny it will reflect light but when the surface is sandblasted to a delicate matt, the colors will glow with the light.  There are some new clear pieces sandblasted using a medium to create a unique pattern. Words are combined with doodles, doodles that I have been doodling since I was a child.

As I gather my thoughts around what is now the 10th anniversary of opening our glassblowing studio and the 10th anniversary of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts and my membership in this gallery, I am truly amazed at how lucky I have been to be able to do what I love everyday!

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ART from shows