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Artists tribute at Carlton Gallery

Article Published: Nov. 19, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Artists tribute at Carlton Gallery

Rhapsody in Blue by Joe Barthet

Carlton Gallery's studio will be filled with the work of three artists who each shared a love of music and painted with the emotion and beat of the music played in their respective studios. This exhibit will be a tribute and recognition for a lifetime of art work by Joe Barthet, and the late Jim Crompton and David McCaig.

There will be framed and unframed private collections of work representing variations of themes, including musicians, dancers, scenes of the Southwest, abstract and impressionistic landscapes. This exhibit, which begins Nov. 28 and runs through December, will be a part of the last Avery Tour de Art event for 2009.

Joe Barthet retired to Boone after two highly successful careers in teaching art and practicing psychotherapy and was encouraged by his wife to start painting again.

He was born on the island of Malta to a known European artist, the Chev. Espirit Barthet. At 8 years old, Barthet attended the Government School of Art in Malta and earned a certificate in fine art from Oxford University. He also studied at the Jesuit Seminary in Malta and Rome, Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., and earned a certificate in fine art from the University of London.

In 1969, Barthet immigrated to the U.S., where he earned a bachelor of fine art degree from Florida Atlantic University. He taught at St. Joseph College of Florida, where he was head of the art department. Barthet earned his doctorate in psychology from Florida Institute of Technology in 1980 and practiced psychotherapy for 23 years.

Barthet's oil paintings are testament to his European art influences, as well as his evolution from Impressionism to his Stylistic/Expressionism. His human figures are abstracted to represent the emotion and movement of the subject painted. Barthet's many paintings of musicians playing different instruments, along with his canvases depicting various styles of dancers with small heads, bulbous bodies and focused facial expressions create a collage of movement with bright, engaging colors. Due to serious health issues, Barthet is no longer able to paint his Stylistic/Expressionism oils on canvas.

The abstract paintings of the late David McCaig project the awareness of the landscape not a literal interpretation of it. To some his lanky trees are birches, but they could be any tree, as McCaig wanted an illusion of trees not their specific identity.

McCaig had a great uncle who was a noted artist in Boston, so his artistic ability was hereditary. McCaig drew everything in his sight at the age of three and earned an associate degree from Montserrat School of Visual Arts in Beverly, Mass., Santa Rosa Community College and Sonoma State University in Cotati, Calif.

McCaig began painting daily about 8 p.m. and continued until 2 a.m. with new age music playing in the background. He worked on more than one canvas at a time and was very involved with shapes and colors. He worked wet on wet and never preplanned by drawing first. If a painting was left standing in his studio too long, it would be changed whether or not it needed to be. Like all artists, McCaig felt his paintings were never fully completed and that he should have spent more time by adding a little more color here or there.

The engaging oils on canvas of abstract landscapes by McCaig on exhibit at Carlton Gallery are to benefit his daughter, Ceria, who is studying art at a university in California.

Jim Crompton was a talented and versatile painter who enjoyed painting varied subject matter. He was a romanticist and individualist whose inspiration for his landscape paintings was the scenic vistas of the High Country. Crompton coordinated his subject matter to correspond to the CD music playing, and especially liked to paint jazz musicians.

Born in New Jersey to professional musicians, Crompton's art education was obtained from the Art Students League in New York City, where he was drafted into the Army, and his cartoons were in Stars and Stripes. While serving in the Army in Europe, Crompton was able to study art of the great masters in France and Spain. After military service, he entered the prestigious Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles, Calif.

Crompton lived in Florida for many years where he taught art in many venues, including his own Crompton Art Academy. He was a member of Art in Public Places, and has murals in numerous South Florida buildings, as well as oils on canvas in many public and private collections throughout the United States. Crompton lived in the High Country for the last 16 years of his life, and his expressionistic oils on canvas at Carlton Gallery express his deep appreciation for the beauty and serenity of the area.

Carlton Gallery invites everyone to share in this tribute and lifetime recognition. The gallery is located 10 miles south of Boone and 7 miles north of Linville in the Grandfather Community. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For additional information, visit

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

For more information, contact entertainment editor Frank Ruggiero at ( or (828) 264-6397.

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