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Carlton Gallery ready for Tour de Art

Article Published: Jun. 26 | Modified: Jun. 29
Carlton Gallery ready for Tour de Art

‘3 Birdbrains and a Genius’ by Alan Gordon

The sixth annual Avery Tour de Art starts Saturday, June 28, and Carlton Gallery is prepared to let the touring begin.

The Tour de Art is a monthly event, held every fourth Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., June through November, where artists open their studios to the public and galleries hold special art events.

Maps can be picked up at each location on the tour, with participating galleries including Alta Vista Gallery, Carlton Gallery, Kevin Beck Studio, Linville River Pottery with Patti Conner Greene, Sally Nooney Studio and Gallery, Art Purveyors and the tour’s newest participant, Studio 140, featuring the work of Kent Paulette and David Banega.

Carlton Gallery will host a “Meet the Artists” day during the Tour de Art, with three gallery artists available to discuss their work with visitors. Two of those artists are Alan Gordon and Mary Martha McKinley, who, in their art, adopt a humorous perspective, but with very different styles, gallery owner Toni Carlton said.

“Mary Martha McKinley brings light humor in her eloquent approach to still life painting in oils,” she said. “Her technique is realistic, with a surreal perspective of placement in her still lives, creating reflections, sometimes of a hidden subject. Her most recent artwork captures a landscape setting in the background of her subject, bringing the still life forward to another understanding in creative precision. Titles, such as ‘High Country Canning Thyme’ or ‘High Country Wine Pearing,’ represent a sample of her artwork that is elegantly creative, detailed and implemented with graceful humor.”

McKinley’s paintings are also very personal, Carlton added, as she uses objects belonging to relatives in her still life art, and her landscapes evoke memories of places she has experienced.

“Alan Gordon, new to Carlton Gallery, captures both humor and storytelling as one,” Carlton said. “He uses watercolor and pen and ink with multiple images of characters to create a story. His images, drawn with sketchy lines, however, are very decisive. The composition is centrally focused with dry humor, which adds to the contemplation of the viewer, resulting often in hilarious laughter.

“Looking at the world with a great deal of whimsy, he focuses on figurative or animal, bird-like images, musicians, old-time mountain themes, etc., with depth of character and expression. Titles, such as ‘3 Birdbrains and a Genius,’ ‘Owls and an Aristocrat’ or ‘Birds of a Feather Flock Together,’ are examples that must be seen in person to capture the lighthearted jesting of Alan Gordon.”

Of his work, Gordon said, “I hope that most of my work adds ... positive energy to a space and ... a smile to your face. I really appreciate that people will view my art … and whether you like it or not, I celebrate our differences.”

Tourists de Art may also meet Brian Carney, as well, while he demonstrates his new drawing techniques.

“His exquisite use of pen and pencil captures the spirit of the creatures with whom we share home, Earth, which becomes a recording for future generations to enjoy,” Carlton said. “His attention to detail and precise lines are many artists’ dream.”

Carney said he has drawn and painted all of his life, but that he discovered his niche and artistic style for painting wildlife after seeing a whitetail deer with an impressive rack trotting across his backyard one winter morning. His unique impressionistic and semi-abstract wildlife paintings, as well as his current pen and pencil work, includes whitetail deer, cougars, birds and other members of the wildlife family.

Aside from Carlton Gallery’s Meet the Artists event, visitors to the gallery may also enjoy the ongoing Spring Group Exhibition and “Energetic Expressions by Egi and Edie” (Egi Antonaccio and Edie Maney), which runs through July 15.

The gallery is also showing new art by standing gallery artists, whose work ranges from traditional to contemporary in paintings, glass, wood, sculpture, clay, fiber and fine jewelry.

Carlton Gallery is located 10 miles south of Boone and seven miles north of Linville or Banner Elk on N.C. 105 South in the Foscoe/Grandfather Mountain community and 20 minutes from Blowing Rock. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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

‘3 Birdbrains and a Genius’ by Alan Gordon

‘Crowned in Vermillion’ by Brian Carney

‘High Country Wine Pearing’ by Mary Martha McKinley

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