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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Colorful Language

July postcard RGB

 

Jewelry artist, Nell Chandler describes her thoughts about the show:

“When we first settled on the title Colorful Language for our show I felt an immediate connection. Even way back before I ever thought of making jewelry I had been telling stories through painting and printmaking. Now I paint and etch on my jewelry and I’m still telling little narratives.”

This year Nell is exploring the melding of techniques from her past. She is creating “story bracelets” with brand new messages by using visual images to tell the story. She is presently working on a Matriarch Bracelet that she sees as a contemplation of heritage and ancestors.

Nell adds, “My new work feels playful yet intense.”

Painter and assemblage artist, Michele Yellin, often begins her work “with a quote in the underpainting as way to start the painting.” Color is the language she uses with great boldness to say the things that cannot be expressed in words.

As she layers the canvas with color she finds that figures and shapes begin to emerge. Much like a writer developing a cast of characters, she lets these shapes and figures tell her who they are.

Michele moves from the sublime to the whimsical with deftness and a strong sense of her own artistic voice.

Fabric artist Ali Givens, who creates quilted textile collages, is exploring an entirely different pallet of colors following a year of work and study in a small town in the Italian piedmont. Her first work, Ivrea Windows, was inspired by the views from her apartment, but she soon realized that a view from one window could not express the essence of the town. She began taking photographs and marrying their elements to create more holistic representations.

Ali says, “As I was combining these photographs, I had something of an epiphany and realized that my photographs of home (Hillsborough) contained much of the richness and culture that I was finding in Ivrea. It is my hope that I can bring these observations to the Colorful Language show.”

 

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ART from shows

Grounded

 

Ellie Reinhold

Asked at Grounded’s opening reception what I was thinking when I created a particular painting, I admitted that the creative process behind my new work is fairly nonverbal. Those familiar with my figurative pieces know that words are integral to their birth; they are filled with narrative, metaphor, poetry, emotion and dreams. Not so with my abstracts/landscapes.

This isn’t to say that my landscapes are quiet paintings, usually quite the opposite. Years ago they began as, and often remain, an exercise in intensity: Color! Mark! Texture! Pattern! Mayhem and fray! However, with some of my new work, I feel as though I am finally beginning to step back and see the forest instead of just the trees.

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Certain pieces in Grounded have a quiet about them that is new to my landscapes. I’m still obsessively working with circle and tree forms, still focusing on texture, surface, and mark, but with the exhibit’s larger paintings and my work in progress, I find I’m continually paring back my complex, intense compositions. It plays out as a give and take. I build the imagery, take it away. Build again, take it away. Struggling on the canvas to find a particular balance, to reveal what the painting wants to be.

This struggle can yield an intense surface, but, with the end note of taking away,  a quieter painting, one presenting a more meditative vision. I am pleased to find that by playing at the line between abstraction and representation, these paintings hint at the moving complexity and depth of our experience in nature.
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ART from shows

 

Grounded

Grounded-BLOG

 

Evelyn Ward, a potter who makes functional stoneware with salt fired glazes, has this to say about her work for the show. “Working with clay keeps me grounded. My time in the studio is a place where I can get distracted from life and totally absorbed in my work. Throwing repetitive forms has become unconscious, almost like a song known by heart, one whose lyrics are never hard to remember. Working on new forms awakens me and keeps me interested and excited about going to the studio every day. For this show I’ll be showing a mix of new forms that I’m really excited about and some familiar ones too.”

 

In her new work for Grounded,  acrylic painter Ellie Reinhold moves away from the intensity of the human experience to focus on nature itself. Reinhold writes, “The new work slated for Grounded holds no deep psychological approach to the theme. Instead recent explorations in texture and color remain my focus and loose tree imagery continues to hold sway. The tree, in my view, is one of the Great Grounders of this world; earth bound yet far reaching, held in place yet always moving.”

 

Grounded is ushered in on painter Pat Merriman’s 80th birthday with her COURAGE series on American Women in History. The series began with a collage of women in the early 1900’s. As an academic, Pat passionately researched the history of women’s acts of courage from the early settlers to the 2016 edict that the American military can be gender neutral. As an artist, Pat then simplified these themes to create bold, colorful collages. Merriman states, “There are panels of the Suffrage movement, the Daughters of Liberty, The Trail of Tears, Latina women, African American women, and 1950’s women who read the “Feminine Mystique”– all leading toward the Equal Rights Movement.”

 

Merriman adds, “There is also a series of four profiles of North Carolina Barns, some reflecting the styles of Wolf Kahn and Milton Avery.  Barns depict the sociology of  America…styles reflect the culture of the immigrants, their life in America often began outside of the cities with the building of a barn.”

Opening Reception

June 24

6-9

 

 

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ART from shows

 

Larry bowlLarry Favorite

Although I am a relatively new member of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts,  I have been creating my distinctive art of ironwood from the Sonoran Desert for more that 40 years. My pieces include boxes, sculpted vases, wall hangings, and lamps that have been embellished with exquisite inlays of sterling silver, turquoise and other semi-precious gemstones.

Larry bird vase

This show’s theme of Earth  Wind and Fire is especially appropriate for my work, as ironwood trees grow out of the hot sands of the desert, are shaped by desert windstorms, and are then parched by the heat of the sun. Taking a piece of dull ironwood that has lain untouched in the desert for centuries and bringing it back to life as art is a spiritual process for me. This process reminds me of the unrecognized potential that we each carry within ourselves, it takes belief, effort, time and patience to bring forth that hidden potential and to turn it into something that is both useful and beautiful in the world.”

Larry vase

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ART from shows

Earth Wind and Fire

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JUDE LOBE
 
When I was a child, one might have called me a tom-boy. I spent endless days exploring the woods and parks, climbing trees and building forts near our home in Maryland. I continued my exploration of  wild and natural environments as an adult. Luckily, I lived equal distance from the Shenandoah and the Blue Ridge Mountains to Assateague and Chincoteague Islands. In these places I felt at home, peaceful, serene and wistful. 
These natural habitats give me a connection to a past, a history of bygone times. Being in these beautiful endangered landscapes gives me solace from stress and hope for a future. In this exhibit I revisit some of these places in my mind and attempt to capture the emotion I felt there and being captivated by the play of light on a rock cliff, or swaying grass in the wind.
 
My medium of choice for these landscapes is Cold Wax & Oil. The cold wax is a consistency of a paste wax. It is made of beeswax and resins. I mix it 50:50 with oil paints or earth pigments. It has the advantage of giving me the opportunity to show a history of the painting by building up layers of colors, then scratching through to reveal some of the obscured colored layers. To me it is a metaphor of the history of the landscape and how it has evolved over time. 
 
My paintings, rather than being a photographic likeness of the landscape, are rather an emotional interpretation of it with an abstract quality. My hope is that the viewer either gains a feeling of peace and hope I feel when in nature, or reminds them of a similar special place in their memory. 
 

Branching Out

April postcard RGB Branching out

Eric Saunders, Chris Graebner, and Mike Salemi are “Branching Out” with their new work.

Eric Saunders is a photographer who uses many techniques to digitally enhance his photographs. For Saunders [branching out] “can mean branches growing on a tree, or it can mean exploring new directions in technique and content.” He explains, “In the past few years, I have made photographic images that are literally of branches on a tree, and images that pursue new directions from outdoor landscapes using various digital enhancements, and images that feature man-made subjects.”

Saunders will have 15-20 new images in the show.

Appropriate for Branching Out, wood is Mike Salemi’s medium. The newest member of The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, Salemi describes his love of wood and his process as a backdrop for the pieces he will present at the April show. Salemi says, “I have always liked working with wood. While a graduate student, I would escape to the campus woodcraft studio each day to find peace and a sense of satisfaction. After I retired, I decided to make a serious effort to develop as a wood turner. In my work, I attempt to strike a balance between classic design prescriptions and my belief that many blocks of wood have something to say. The former leads me to create pleasing proportions in my spindles and pleasing curves in my bowls. The latter leads me to look to the wood for suggestions of shape and texture. I am particularly attracted to blocks of wood that have started to decay. A partially decayed piece of wood can reward the turner with dramatic color and pattern but requires that the turner navigate voids. Handling the negative space in a funky block of wood is a challenge worth taking.”

Chris Graebner is a painter whose work is often inspired by nature. Graebner refects, “One of my earliest memories is watching in awe as my mother painted the oak tree in our front yard. Instead of a brown stick with a green blob on top, her tree had bark, branches, and individual leaves. I was so amazed; I wanted to do that too!”

Working primarily in oil, Graebner will introduce new paintings this April in Branching Out.

Opening Reception

April 29

6-9

 

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