It’s all about the story

Story postcard RGB

It’s All About The Story at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts

In the three novellas that make up “Local Souls,” Allan Gurganus brings to life the complicated relationships of people who are as dark and colorful as the North Carolina town they inhabit. The artists of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts depict these stories of survival, betrayal, love, longing, and liberation through visual imagery in paintings, photography, metal, fiber, glass, ceramics, and wood. It is a show for all those who appreciate Southern fiction and local art.

About the author:
Allan Gurganus is an American short story writer, essayist, and novelist best known for his ground breaking debut novel, “Oldest Confederate Widow Tells All,” which has sold over four million copies. Educated at Sarah Lawrence and The University of Iowa, he has taught at Sarah Lawrence, The Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and both Stanford and Duke Universities. Among his prizes are an Ingram Merrill Award and a 2006 Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in Hillsborough, NC.

Opening Reception

February 26


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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


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The Fifth Element


Pat Lloyd

This past year presented some challenges that temporarily limited my ability to turn wood. I needed to find new ways to express my frustrated creativity. Woodturning was set aside, while photography took the lead. Then, a chance encounter led to my discovery of Kumihimo braiding and braided jewelry design, a rather unexpected turn I must say; strange twists and turns.

walnut bowl PLWhile in Oregon last fall, I visited the Portland Japanese Gardens. The guide pointed out a large Japanese stone lantern and described the 5 traditional elements in Japanese Buddhism of Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Void. I was most intrigued by this Fifth Element of Void. Void represents spirit, thought, creative energy and inventiveness, the “here,” or the center.”

Kumi necklace PLOnce I let go of the need to control the uncontrollable and accepted the “here” and found my center, I was able to release the creative energy and inventiveness resident in my inner spirit, in that Fifth Element of Void. The discovery and exploration of the ancient art of Kumihimo braiding gave me a new voice.

Pat pig photoIn this new year, I am back to woodturning, with a renewed energy and passion. And, the discovery of Kumihimo that energized that creative emptiness last year, has taken on a life of its own. Kumihimo design is filled with endless possibilities. Of course, photography continues to influence my everyday life. Some days it is just hard to know what to do first, it’s such a blessing.

Flights of Fancy

Three members of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts have let their imaginations go with a show entitled Flights of Fancy. Each with a different medium – glass, photography and acrylic painting – they have created a magical experience of color and form.

Glass artist SUSAN HOPE describes her ideas as “fanciful, eccentric, radical, resonant”  and says that “glass in its many variations and forms gives joy to the viewer with or without understanding the intentional or implied meaning of the creator. The movement of light through the palette of colored glass sends waves of energy through the viewer and causes an emotional response that comes from the depths of one’s being.”

Says Hope “This is why I play with glass. It is an intentional effort to elicit a response in the one who is strolling by or who seems to have no connection to the world of ‘art’. I find great joy in encouraging, even startling a response out of someone… this is what we are about…energy, emotion, electricity, elation. If there is anything to pull one out of the doldrums and complacency of our modern world it is color. Better yet, it is rainbows of color in glass with light sparkling, caressing, shooting… perhaps blasting through the pieces, to bring life and radiance to a very stiff, hard and harsh reality.”

Flights of fancy is the expression of joy and abandonment to the abstract flow of color and light through glass.  Every color has a wavelength and the energy of light through it causes additional excitement that washes over the weary and refreshes the weak. Relax, enjoy…Be enlightened.”

Painter EDUARDO LAPETINA, known for his colorful abstract paintings with imaginative titles, says of his process: “Perhaps because of my scientific background and my lack of formal art training, I have taken a lot of risks and explored new techniques. My textural surfaces are built with paint, many layers of paint, built up one over the other. I don’t use modeling paste or other fillers, just paint, straight from the containers, mixed right on the canvas. It’s a physical process. I apply paint in various ways, sometimes unusual ways – pouring, splashing, dripping, scratching, and so on – until I get what I am after. An image arrived at through such a slow, deliberative set of processes appears as fresh and immediate by maintaining spontaneity at every turn. My work is guided through its material operations by intuitive processing of my moods, feelings, and flights of fancy. The destination is unknown until I finally get there. The title of each painting, then, ideally hints at both its physical appearance and the poetic ambiguity of the long journey that brings it into being.”

According to Photographer ERIC SAUNDERSFlights of Fancy, in relation to my work as an art photographer, means looking for the unusual and whimsical in both the natural, urban, and digital worlds in which I make photographs. In a sense, every image I produce is a flight of fancy.”

Flights of Fancy promises to be a visual fantasy of color and light, an opportunity to leave the every day world behind and ponder on a world of possibilities.

Opening Reception

March 28


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Twenty Two Squared

Art Gets Squared At The Hillsborough Gallery Of Arts 22squaredpostcard “Any medium, any size – but it must be square” is the challenge that the Gallery’s artists set themselves. The first two shows each year are “group shows” at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. And every year the 22 members of the Gallery come up with new themes. “TWENTY TWOSQUARED” is the first show of 2014. Their work ranges from paintings in oil, watercolor and acrylic, to photography, mixed media, fabric, glass, clay, metal, wood and jewelry. Every artist had to create something square. For some artists, like painters and photographers, creating square pieces is quite normal. For others, not so much. The assignment created quite a challenge for glass blower Pringle Teetor. “When blowing glass, it’s a bit like blowing bubble gum. It tends to want to be somewhat round. With the subject matter as ‘square,’ I had to manipulate the glass to be a square. Instead of using my wet newspaper pad to round out the shape of a piece, I used it to flatten the sides as I blew the glass into a square. The neck of the piece would also be round but instead I squared it up, offsetting it from the squared body. I left a pointed bottom so the piece would sit at an angle and not flat on it’s bottom.” Squared was also a challenge for metal artist, Lynn Wartski. “I began with thinking about what a square is from a 3D perspective… It’s a box or a cube if you’re going to make all sides square. So, I decided to first create a box. Next, I considered all the things we use boxes for: to store, safeguard, ship, carry, hide, etc. I decided that my box would be the type that protects, and maybe hides just a bit as well, so I made an art glass front that appears locked, and only gives an obscured glimpse within. At first I was going to put one of my dolls inside the box, and played with the ideas of fairytale clichés, but didn’t quite like how cramped she appeared. Instead, I went with the ‘Steampunk’ feel I had worked into the glass front, and played with the idea of clockworks, our biological pacemaker, and the now obsolete vocation of the Clock Keeper, which is also the title of the piece.” The results of the Gallery members work will be on display from January 27th to February 23rd, in this first group show of the new year.

Opening Reception

January 31st


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The Art of Giving

Holiday post cardCelebrate the holidays and the Arts with “The Art of Giving” at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts . The twenty-two artists of HGA present artwork celebrating the holidays with many gift ideas for easy, artful gift giving.

The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is presenting its annual ‘ART OF GIVING” exhibit from November 11,2013 to Jan 13, 2014. This exhibit featuring the work of the twenty-two member artists will include paintings in acrylic and oils, pastels, photography, fused and blown glass and jewelry. Works in ceramic,wood, mosaic, metal sculpture, and textiles are also featured.

The Gallery will be featuring special holiday ornaments and specialty items geared for easy gift giving.These will include hand knitted shawls and scarves. Many of the artists will be exhibiting special holiday cards. The Hillsborough Gallery is a wonderful source for items for festive home decoration as well as unique, hand-made artistic gifts. HGA also offers gift certificates that make gift-giving easy and supports the local arts at the same time. A gift certificate is especially a great gift for young folks on your list to encourage their interest in artful living.

The Gallery will have some extended hours during the holiday season. Check the HGA website ( for details. There is always an artist on-hand at the gallery to help you with gift giving ideas.

On Friday November 29, several artist members will be available to demonstrate and offer a short workshop in ornament making.

The Art of Giving
Opening Reception
Novemeber 29th
121 N. Churton St, Hillsborough

Show currently running through January 11th

Please visit our website and check out our calender.


Artwork by Lolette Guthrie

The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, an artist-owned and operated gallery in downtown Hillsborough, NC, will present a featured show by all 22 member artists that celebrates the wonder of childhood.

“Artists in Wonderland”

The show runs from January 14 – February 17, 2013


Friday, January 25 from 6-9pm.

How do you capture the wonder and joy of childhood? Ice cream trucks, bicycles, swing sets, dancing, climbing trees, and family life come to mind. Visitors to the gallery will be transported to the delightful world of children through paintings, photographs, sculpture, and other representations of this amazing stage of life. Artists will display jubilant children dancing, a granddaughter with her pet rooster, a funky ice cream truck in sherbet colors, images of the state fair, and the expressive faces of many funny characters. The artwork is perfect for a child’s room or to just celebrate the child in all of us.

The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is located in the Mercantile Building at 121 North Churton Street, Hillsborough, NC, 27278.  For more information visit their web site at