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Alternative art views at Carlton Gallery

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Article Published: Oct. 24, 2013 | Modified: Oct. 24, 2013
Alternative art views at Carlton Gallery

Photography by Dennis Usdan is on exhibit at Carlton Gallery.

Photo submitted

Carlton Gallery’s 31st Autumn Exhibition is abundant in original art by the local, regional and national artisans represented by the gallery.

According to gallery owner Toni Carlton, acrylic paintings by Debbie Arnold represent her visions, dreams and intuitive process of rendering a canvas, while Edie Maney’s non-objective and abstract acrylic paintings utilize brushes, palette knives and printmaker brayers to determine the shapes and textures in her design and composition.

Horses in the landscape by Holly Glasscock and abstract figurative work by Mike Ham, along with the elongated figurative paintings by Warren Dennis, “bring an added dimension and element of surprise to the gallery’s 31st Autumn Exhibition,” Carlton said.

Carlton’s expressions through her paintings of “Peace and Oneness” with acrylic paints, hand-woven fibers, calligraphy and music “offer hope and encouragement to everyone,” she said.

Mike Grady’s abstract, acrylic and ink paintings are sometimes brushed, poured or dripped to articulate his influence from Asian artisans inspired by the balance of natural forces.

A visiting artists’ exhibition, “Alternative Views – Photography” by Dennis Usdan and Carole Usdan, and artists’ reception is planned for Saturday, Oct. 26, from 2 to 5 p.m. The 31st Autumn Exhibition, along with the “Alternative Views,” are features for the Avery Tour de Art the same Saturday.

Dennis Usdan’s photography exhibit contains images from the High Country, France and Holland. His technical strategy involves intentionally moving the digital camera along with a longer shutter speed when taking the photograph, he said, adding that the photograph is made in the camera, while post-processing of the image is very limited.

Of his exhibit, he said, “I am attempting to explore the relationship among fading memory, dream and imagination. My idea is that the images explore those concepts by presenting a softer vision and longer moment in time than might be found in the sharp photograph. This may be an alternative way to recall our experiences. I think of it as something akin to what we might see in our peripheral vision. Generally, the printed image will not be documentation, but an impressionistic interpretation of the environment — urban or rural.”

A fine art photographer and self-described “recovering lawyer,” Usdan was born and raised on Long Island, N.Y. He graduated from the University of Vermont and Boston University School of Law. His photographic studies were from the Boca Raton Museum in Delray Beach, Fla.

His photographic works have juried in various art media competitions, including the Watauga County Arts Council, Boca Raton Museum of Art and Lighthouse Art Museum in Florida, as well as Toe River Arts Council Art Competition. Further, his photographs were published in Black & White Magazine and Color Magazine in 2011 and 2012.

Carole Usdan’s figurative work (nudes reconfigured) in the “Alternative Views – Photography” exhibition evolved from a previous endeavor, titled “Fractured Females.” The representational aspects of these nudes are identifiable, she said, and they’ve been revised through an individualized process of digital deconstruction and reorganization.

“This process I call ‘Photo Work’ in order to explore the complexity of sensation and memory, the individual’s attempt to reconcile that understanding is highly imperfect and continuously permutating over time,” she said. “Memories are wonderfully fluid, distorted even by that act of remembering, and I am fascinated by this amorphous undoing and redoing of ‘reality.’”

Carole Usdan’s portrait series in the exhibit also reveals the connective tissue of memory and understanding, Carlton said, noting that the images are assertive and demand the viewer to notice the imbedded detail that transforms the overall portrait.

The contemporary non-traditional photographic work of Carole Usdan has received awards from Black & White Magazine. She has exhibited in solo and group shows, including the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Atlanta Photography Group and Toe River Arts Council.

Carlton Gallery is located 10 miles south of Boone and seven miles north of Linville on N.C. 105 in the Grandfather Mountain community near the entrance to Seven Devils. For more information on artists, exhibitions or workshops, call (828) 963-4288 or visit

Gallery Times

Gallery Times is a weekly news feature of The Mountain Times, featuring news items submitted by local galleries.

For more information or to make a submission, contact editor Frank Ruggiero at ( or (828) 264-6397.

Additional Images

Photography by Dennis Usdan is on exhibit at Carlton Gallery.
Photo submitted

'Face' by Carole Usdan

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