Carlton hosts 30th Spring Opening
Carlton Gallery, celebrating 30 years, is hosting its Spring Opening Reception on Saturday, May 26.
The gallery is filled with new work in many mediums by the standing gallery artists: Warren Dennis, Debbie Arnold, Kevin Beck, Helen Farson, Ray Byram, Sharon Rusch Shaver, Freeman Beard, Phyllis Knight, Mike Ham, Marion Cloaninger, Holt McLean, Jane Desonier, Allan Hollar and Fred Mead.
“Paintings in oil, acrylic, mixed media and watercolor, as well as glass, sculpture, wood, clay, fibers and fine jewelry make this 30th Spring Opening visually stimulating and awe-inspiring,” gallery owner Toni Carlton said.
The gallery features artist Michael Grady, whose “Return to the Mountain” exhibition is a highlight of the Spring Exhibition. An artist’s reception on Saturday, May 26, from 2 to 5 p.m., affords visitors an opportunity to meet Grady, an educator, writer and artist whose work examines the relationship between art, cultures, identity, health and spirituality.
Grady’s art work began to take shape in its mature form after his third trip to Huang Shan in Anhui Province, China. He is indebted to generations of landscape painters and calligraphers from China, Korea and Japan who also took their inspiration from the balance of natural forces. He also thinks himself as a part of the “Northern Romantic Tradition” of Europe and America who sought the dissolution of form into light and water.
Grady said, “I feel my work links me to contemporary artists around the world who are discovering connections between body, mind and spirit. We are all trying to reflect a new cross-cultural artistic identity and ways to think about art and meaning that really are global.”
Grady explained the basis for his “Return to the Mountain” exhibition, saying, “I grew up in Columbia, S.C. In my teen years and on through my second year of college at University of South Carolina, I spent many summer weekends camping and hiking at Linville Gorge and Mt. Pisgah not far from where I now exhibit my paintings.
“My artistic journey began with the Appalachian Mountains. Each of my great leaps forward as an artist has been associated with the mountains – hiking, camping, meditating and just taking in the wondrous spectacle of a great mountain landscape.
“The Chinese say that art is a search for the mountain within. The influence of East Asian art – and that inner mountain – are important parts of my work. As my life has unfolded, I have visited many mountains – the American West, Europe, China, Tibet, New Zealand and South America. I have come to know my own inner mountain at last.
“Now as I reach the summit of my life and my artistic production, I have returned to the source of my artistic inspiration. After living in California for many years, I have returned home to the mountains I first came to know. Now each day is an inspiration; each view of the mountain vistas reminds me of the source of my own artwork and my direct connection to the link between heaven and earth. I have returned to the mountain and now share new discoveries about the connections between body, mind, spirit and culture.”
Grady is a graduate of Tufts University in Medford, Mass., with diplomas from School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and a MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. His unique art is in numerous private and corporate collections and has been exhibited in solo and selected group exhibitions in California, Texas, New York, Boston, South Carolina, Germany and China. He is currently a professor of studio art at Appalachian State and enjoys teaching, painting and writing in the High Country.
Carlton Gallery’s 30th Spring Exhibition runs through June 30, and “Return to the Mountain” continues till June 17. 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 http://www.carltonartgallery.com.
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