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Carlton Gallery celebrates 30 years

Article Published: Jul. 5, 2012 | Modified: Jul. 19, 2012
Carlton Gallery celebrates 30 years

‘Lakeside’ by Andrew Braitman

Art galleries come and go in the High Country, but Carlton Gallery has stood the test of time. From a small fiber studio founded in 1982, the fine art contemporary gallery is now observing its 30th year.
Carlton Gallery is commemorating its 30th anniversary with a “We Celebrate Art” Summer Group Exhibition and Fete beginning Saturday, July 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. Music, food and artists’ painting demonstrations will be offered to visitors and gallery patrons in celebration of this milestone.

Gallery owner Toni Carlton extends a heartfelt appreciation to all the artists, literally hundreds, who have created, inspired and supported her vision to promote the work of local, regional, national and international artists, whose fine art and contemporary crafts have graced the walls, pedestals, jewelry cases and shelves over three decades.

For 21 years, the gallery was located in the Creekside Building, formerly known as the Kiln Room in the 1970s. In 2008, Carlton Gallery moved across N.C. 105 into the former Antonaccio Fine Art Gallery.

“After many floods, challenges with beavers, raccoons and a leaky roof, it was a little sad to say goodbye to the Creekside Building,” Carlton said, “but we are happy in our perfect home today.”

One of the first artists represented by the gallery who continues to exhibit paintings is local artist Warren Dennis, who taught Carlton drawing and art appreciation classes at Appalachian State University. Other longstanding artists include Debbie Arnold, Vae Hamilton and Andrew Braitman.

The 30th Summer Group Exhibition features new work in oils by gallery artists Dennis, Egi Antonaccio, Braitman, Roy Nichols, Sharon Rusch Shaver, Brian Carney and Rainelle Meridith.

Local artist Arnold exhibits paintings in acrylics rendered in her own new technique of pouring paints to create complex effects with textures and color. “Her artwork is infinitely her distinct style, due to personal techniques and inspirations,” Carlton said.

The acrylic mixed media paintings of Vae Hamilton express her great love of horses and her talent to capture the spirit of the horse on canvas, while painter Kate Worm’s water color/gouache figurative work displays her deep understanding of the necessary balance between warm and cool colors. “She has acquired this talent by years of diligent observation and a gathering of visual information in lieu of a linear way of thinking,” Carlton said.

New gallery artist Edie Maney exhibits bold and commanding nonobjective acrylic abstracts utilizing brushes, palette knives and printmaker brayers. “Color is the determining factor for the shapes and textures in the design and composition of her thought-provoking work,” Carlton said.

Carlton Gallery is noted for its diverse collection of work in glass and wood. The blown glass Acro Bags by John Littleton and Kate Vogel display a lively interplay, which contrasts with the satin look of the component parts, which are supported by one another.

Handcrafted tables by Keith Allen feature characteristics of the wood’s natural defects contrasted with strong design employing mortise and tendon, dovetails and butterfly inlays as part of the design.

Carlton’s ongoing “Whispers of Life’s Journey” exhibition continues through July 22 and is also a feature of the 30th anniversary celebration. Carlton’s mixed media paintings are rendered with a central theme of peace and art blessings. She said she’s immensely pleased when explaining the deeper meaning of her work and witnesses viewers grasping the open heart connection of all cultures.

Carlton Gallery’s 30th Anniversary Fete and “We Celebrate Art” Summer Group Exhibition begins July 7 and continues through Sept. 15. The gallery is located 10 miles south of Boone and seven miles north of Linville on N.C. 105 in the Grandfather Mountain community. 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 short news items submitted by local galleries.

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

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