A new exhibition is opening up at the TRAC Burnsville Gallery on April 5. Some of the artists you may know, most of them not. But all are accomplished in their art. The Toe River Arts Council has accepted 12 new artists into their Burnsville and Spruce Pine gift shops. This process keeps the art fresh and gives talented artists a venue to show and sell their work. Some of the artists are newcomers to the area; others are familiar presences on the vibrant arts scene here; still others have been quietly creating here for years. And all of them will be featured at the Gallery until May 10.
TRAC is very proud to add Claudette McCurry to its roster. A local artist, she studied under nationally-known teacher Urban Bird decades ago. Since then, she has developed her own style. “My oil paintings reflect my country heritage.”
Watercolorist Christopher Nash says he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t compelled to be creative. Although he has no formal training, his tree line silhouettes cast back to seemingly years of talent.
Laurel Lovrek’s oils have been on display at TRAC in several of the Blue Ridge Fine Arts Guild’s exhibitions. Now she will have an opportunity to show off her talent for capturing the outdoors on her own.
Also, in the two-dimensional category, T.J. Kearns joins the Arts Council with his photographs of natural surroundings, which he hopes will “inspire people to slow down and take a look at how beautiful the world we live in is.”
Ed Mundy is one of those folks who puts a handprint on the wall and on the floor. His “rusted” wall pieces on handmade paper speak to natures quiet shadows while the light from his lamps atop barnwood constructs cast egg wash reflections on the wall.
Jewelry was as diverse as the wall art in the jurying. MaryLouise Jordan came to Burnsville by way of Hawaii where she learned the Hula and an appreciation for color everywhere. Working in series, her beaded pieces evoke a story, a color, a flower, a shape in their design and feel.
Delphia Lamberson moved here from Atlanta and began creating beaded jewelry, which led to silversmithing, which has melded into a passion for making “jewelry that looks and feels hand made.”
And Jem Klein’s unique handcrafted barrettes and earrings are made from sustainably harvested North American wood. Ever since the age of nine when she first used her father’s dremel tool, she has surrounded herself in wood and considers it “a calling and great passion.”
Spruce Pine’s Judy Meek began her basketry career seven years ago as a winter retirement activity. Now, she says she addicted to the form. Her basketry suggests the simplicity of an earlier time, when their only purpose was utilitarian. But Judy’s are more. Perhaps one would want to fill one of her baskets with Simona Rosasco cards. Simona, already a member of the gift shop registry in fused glass has added photography to her repertoire of talents, putting images not only of her glass and of almost everything else on blank cards.
Rounding out the new gift shop artists are two well-known artists who have previously exhibited in the galleries, been on the studio tour several times and now have been juried into the TRAC gift shops. First is Judson Guérard. Known for his larger pieces, he will be offering his hand-blown glass ornaments (“a comfortable first step”) and paperweights, which he considers as doodles, that could have evolved into larger works, but stayed small. And finally David Ross, whose Bakersville studio has been around for almost 40 years. David is a “people’s potter” whose work speaks to the natural world, with its earth and sky tones and the creatures that call the land and the water home.
Ed Mundy has said, “I find the traffic on the beaten path unbearable, so why not walk where there is no path, and leave a trace.” These talented new TRAC gift shop artists will leave a lasting imprint.
The exhibition will run from April 5 through May 10 in Burnsville. Come on down and see what’s new on the walls and in the cases at your Arts Council. TRAC’s Burnsville Gallery is located at 102 West Main Street, the Spruce Pine location is 269 Oak Avenue. The hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:30am to 5:00pm. For more information, call 828.682.7215 or visit the website at www.toeriverarts.org.