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.”
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