'30 Shades of Sporn'
Joan Sporn feels like her paintings exude
“Because it makes me feel so good to create them,” the Linville artist said. “Not only do I get a happy feeling from painting, but I also feel joy when someone tells me how much they love the painting they bought and how it makes them happy each time they come home and see it.
“That’s really special, in that I first get happiness from creating it, and then the customer gets happiness from owning it.”
Alta Vista Gallery owner Maria Santomasso-Hyde added that customers really do seem to feel the happiness in the Sporn paintings, because they often ask, “Is this artist a really happy person? The way she paints seems to say so.”
For those who want a serotonin fix, Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis is showing 30 new paintings by Sporn in a show, titled “30 Shades of Sporn.” The show is hanging now, and it will be displayed until mid-July. The artist will be at the gallery’s reception this Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and also this Sunday, June 23, from 1 to 5 p.m.
“During the long, dark winter, Sporn was busy, creating 30 new works filled with happiness, light and lots of bold colors,” Hyde said. “She has created 30 new paintings that reflect not only a huge array of colors, but also diversity in media and subjects.”
Sporn is a painter whose art is constantly evolving, Hyde said, adding that it’s always fun to see what she comes up with next. As one example, this year, she has added wax to her oils and has also created some collages, including one of a rooster featuring pieces of tennis net in it. Another collage features painted parrots surrounded by papers she made by hand.
The show also features Sporn’s Impressionist oil landscapes of High Country scenes, such as Grandfather Mountain, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Bass Lake, Price Lake, trout streams, local barns and country cottages, plus new subjects, such as cyclists and floral still life paintings. There are also new paintings of chefs — a favorite subject of Sporn’s — for many years.
When asked which one of the 30 new paintings is her favorite, she laughed, as she does often during her day.
“These paintings are like my children,” Sporn said. “I don’t have a favorite. I love each one equally, and each has unique qualities. For example, when I do a painting with the palette knife instead of brushes, it’s a totally different experience for me, very free. I can just grab a glob of paint and just go for it. Each painting is different to me.”
She doesn’t have a favorite color either, so maybe that’s why viewers see so many different colors in her work, the many “shades of Sporn,” Hyde said.
Sporn admitted, “I do love the fall, my favorite season of the year, and since I love the color orange, I enjoy using it a lot in the fall scenes that I paint, along with all of the beautiful reds and golds.”
“Sporn’s oil and acrylic paintings have always energized customers, largely because of her bold color palette and defiant brushstrokes and textures, including palette-knife paintings,” Hyde said. “All 30 of her new paintings are like her personality: strong, energetic, lively and colorful.”
Sporn has been painting since she was a child, but she still enjoys studying art in workshops in North Carolina and in Florida.
“I always learn something new,” she said. “I paint every day at home, but painting in workshops gives me a chance to paint with — and talk with — other artists. This is important, because creating art is such a solitary pursuit, and I really enjoy talking with other artists about our work. We critique each other, and it’s really helpful. Also, I like the adventure of trying new things.”
The June 22 and 23 artist receptions for Sporn are part of the Greater Avery Tour de Art gallery crawl, which is held on every fourth Saturday from June through October. Maps for this tour are available at Alta Vista Gallery and at the other 12 sites on the tour.
Alta Vista Gallery is located at 2839 Broadstone Road in Valle Crucis, between Mast Farm Inn and Mast Store Annex. The two-story gallery is located in a National Register of Historic Places farmhouse and is also showing new works by more than 100 other artists in watercolors, oils, pastels and limited-edition prints, as well as stained-glass, handmade jewelry, art tiles and Mangum pottery.
For more information, including a map and directions, visit http://www.altavistagallery.com, call the gallery at (828) 963-5247 or visit the gallery’s page on Facebook.
Gallery Times is a weekly news feature of The Mountain Times, featuring short news items submitted by local galleries.
For more information or to make a submission, contact editor Frank Ruggiero at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (828) 264-6397.