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Garry Childs describes his technique, “All of my work is formed on the potters wheel from terra-cotta clay. I apply glazes and pigments to my pots when they have reached a state potters call “leather-hard” which is when the clay has stiffened up enough to handle, but is not completely dry. I usually do this by spraying, but sometimes also with a brush. I then carve through the glaze into the still damp clay to achieve the various patterns seen on my work.”

Chris Graebner describes her inspiration for the show, “I love to drive, especially on long trips. Every summer we go to Northern Michigan – to Lake Huron. It’s a trip I love, two days up and two days back, driving through gorgeous scenery, forests and farms. (It’s amazing how many different types of barns there are!) Last summer, in addition to the trip to Michigan, we made a 3700 mile trip to South Dakota, returning home by way of Texas and Louisiana. As usual, I did most of the driving. Driving forces me to pay attention to everything around me and I’m always amazed by the beauty. Painting is my way of possessing that beauty so I want to paint it all!  My husband is patient about taking photos with the cell phone as we sail past interesting things on the highway. My paintings in this show are all of places observed from the car, in our travels over the last year.”

Jude Lobe’s work presented in Earthworks reflects her love and respect of nature. “For this show I’m still using the method of building and deconstructing, but concentrating on the connectedness between earth, man, fauna, plants and everything else making  up the universe, and the loss that may occur if we don’t become more mindful. I like mixing mediums and love textures, which becomes a metaphor for how all things in the universe are interwoven and intertwined. My paintings in cold wax & oil, encaustics and collage are a journey to articulate on a surface an emotion I have difficulty in articulating in words.”

“Sometimes I’m on an archaeological excursion. From building up layers of colors and textures, to scraping away, scratching and uncovering what is beneath, the process leads me to new places I discover.”

Opening Reception
May 26th, 2017, 6 – 9 pm


it’s all about the story



“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.


Feb 24


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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



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Present Tense

Chris Grabener

Present Tense is an appropriate title for my current work. It seems to me that it is constantly moving, changing, evolving. I enjoy trying new things and learning how I can use them to achieve the effects I see in my mind.


My paintings fall into three general categories: botanicals, landscapes (including buildings) and what fellow painter Jude Lobe refers to as “mischief.” Mostly I toggle back and forth between botanicals and landscapes. Most of the work in this show falls under the broad umbrella of landscapes and they explore different surfaces and different methods of applying paint. Some of the paintings are on canvas, or linen, some on wood panel, and some on clayboard. Each of these surfaces accepts paint differently and combining their properties with different types of brushes, painting knives and painting mediums can give very different results to the same image. So after selecting an image, I consider the size, painting surface, color palette and the types of brushes and mediums for that painting. I map out a direction for the painting and begin, but I find that as I work, the painting finds its own course and often flows in channels I had not fully anticipated.

under the moo

Three of the night paintings involve the use a large, dry, mop brush to move thin layers of paint from the central moon across the surface of the painting. Winter Moon is painted on panel, a hard non-absorbent surface on which the paint moves quite freely. Under the Moonlight is on clayboard, a hard but absorbent surface. On it, the paint begins to be absorbed as it moves out from the center of the moon, taking more layers and not moving as far or as readily. Moonlight Bay is on canvas, a soft, non-absorbent but textured surface which holds paint and makes the layers thicker and with a stippled appearance.

winter moon, ssteeple

Cathedral Door is a small oil and cold wax painting on canvas. The door itself is painted with a brush and without the addition of cold wax, while the stonework is painted with a pallet knife and many layers of oil paint mixed with wax. The wax is then scraped through to create joints in the stone blocks.


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Preview of the Orange County Studio Tour

OCAG_postcard_RGBPlease come join us for the Opening Reception at our Last Fridays celebration.


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Lolette Guthrie

My paintings are paintings of light and atmosphere. I strive to capture the ephemeral nature of light that captures a mood that is timeless.




I mostly paint from memory arranging the elements to form interesting compositions. Regardless of whether it is a traditional landscape or an abstraction, I find myself seeing and feeling the space, light, time of day, temperature and weather in my mind’s eye and letting what is on the canvas direct my hand.   Each piece begins with a loose idea that evolves gradually and intuitively as I build up the surface layer by layer. I always have an idea of what I want to explore but invariably I find that the painting takes on a life of it’s own and I’m never sure where it will end up. This experience is both exhilarating and, at times, confusing. I think it must be much like the experience of a writer whose characters take over and force the direction of the story.




I work both in oils and pastels but always in the same way, by applying countless layers of pigment and allowing each layer to show through. This process gives a wonderful richness to the surface. In the case of pastels, I use a fixative between the layers so that each layer remains bright and doesn’t become muddy. To get the same result with oils, I must let each layer dry before the next is applied. I also move back and forth between landscapes and the abstractions based on those landscapes. I find switching gears in this way keeps me from “getting stuck”.




For this show, I concentrated on discovering how to paint an interesting sky that almost alone would give the viewer a sense of space, light, time of day, temperature, and weather. In most pieces, the foreground is the accent note.



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discoveries1Make New Discoveries At The Hillsborough Gallery Of Art

As a landscape painter, Lolette Guthrie seeks the essence of a place in order to create visual metaphors celebrating the incredible beauty and diversity of our world. “My paintings are always paintings of light and atmosphere” says Guthrie “and I strive to capture the ephemeral nature of light at a moment in time that transcends the subject and captures a mood that is timeless.”  Working in both oils and in pastels she applies countless layers of pigment one on top of the other, allowing each layer to show through, giving a wonderful richness to the surfaces.

For this show, Guthrie concentrated on painting skies that by themselves give the viewer a sense of space, light, time of day, temperature, and weather. In most pieces, the foreground is the accent note.

Mark Kinsella has been working with glass for more than 10 years and continues to develop his technique. Incorporating new processes into his work, he is always evolving and changing, trying new styles, and producing fresh and different work. Kinsella draws inspiration from nature, movies and life experiences, using his photography background for interesting composition and color combinations. His work is sometimes functional, sometimes sculptural and often both.

Most of the work in this show will have a combination of transparent and opaque glass, which look very different depending on whether light is reflected off the surface or transmitted from behind. Says Kinsella, “Some of my work also contains optical illusions. Discoveries are possible in so many ways! I hope that everyone will pick up and touch the glass and feel its texture. I truly believe that working with glass is a metaphor for life. Things can be very random and seemingly disconnected but with patience, creativity, and a little hard work one can pull it all together into something beautiful. I’m motivated to leave the world in better shape than when I arrived and feel that I can do that by creating art that could possibly last hundreds of years.”

Michele Yellin has this to say about her work. “Michelangelo said that every block of stone has a statue inside it and that it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. For me, searching the textured, abstracted, multi-colored surface of my canvas, I ache to discover what each painting wants to reveal to me, and thus become. This is my great challenge, and when detected and captured, my great joy. I have no luck in forcing things along. There are processes I rely on and yet I have no formula guaranteed to bring the painting into being. It is only with the alchemy of materials, skills, intent and some form of magic that allows me to discover what the painting’s true nature is. To see it, I have to not look for it. I have look in an oblique manner, and then, if I am lucky, I make my discovery. These paintings are what were waiting in the paint to be painted.”


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