‘From Forests to Bowls’
Beginning this weekend, a new show will be in place at Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis: “From Forests to Bowls,” a group show of six painters and one wood-turner.
The public is invited to meet the artists at the gallery’s opening reception on Aug. 25, including Bob Francisco, who will be painting on the front lawn of the gallery during the event, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The theme for this show was conceived when wood-turner Mike Flanigan told gallery-owner Maria Santomasso-Hyde that he finds the medium for his art by searching the local forests for fallen trees.
Soon thereafter, Hyde heard from oil painter Tonya Bottomley that she was creating a series of paintings of forest scenes. A new show was born, as Hyde asked five other painters to create forest scenes, as well.
“Flanigan’s new bowls are creative, often featuring natural bark edges or woods that are over 100 years old,” Hyde said. “Not just any tree will do for Mike’s art. They have to be dead, on the ground, and the more deformed the tree, the more beautiful the bowl ... He gives a fallen, diseased tree a new life as a thing of beauty that will last forever.”
Flanigan, who owns Cornerstone Construction in Foscoe, said, “Until you cut into it, you don’t know how beautiful and strong it can be. If the tree had flaws and disease, it makes the most beautiful bowls, the ones that we call ‘spalted’ and are highly sought-after.
“When I see a tree down, I get excited if it’s a wood that I can put on my lathe and turn. I especially like to find fruit and nut trees. Once, my wife, Lisa, went up to a homeowner’s door and asked if we could have their fallen tree. Now, a lot of people call me when they have a tree down that might be of use to me for wood-turning.”
Bottomley said that her new oils of forest scenes were inspired by the woodlands around her home and her fond memories of time spent in the forest as a child.
“The Secret Place” depicts a spot that Bottomley visits to relax and reflect and enjoy nature, which she said is very important to her.
“I love to sit by the stream and hear the birds sing,” Bottomley said. “So, I often include birds in my paintings, as well.”
Francisco loves being outdoors so much that he’ll be painting outside on the gallery’s front lawn on Aug. 25. “Since I have to spend so much time indoors in Atlanta (Ga.), I try to be outdoors as much as possible when at my mountain home,” said Francisco, who plans to bring several small oils that he’ll be able to complete during the reception.
The other artists in this group show include Joan Sporn, Jean Baird, Sheila Hancock and Amos Westmoreland.
The show will hang from mid-August through mid-September, when the gallery will show new oils by Jean Pollock in an exhibition called “My Favorite Places.”
The Aug. 25 opening reception is a part of the “Tour de Art,” which takes place every fourth Saturday (June through November). Tour maps are available at Alta Vista Gallery and the 14 other stops on the tour.
Alta Vista Gallery shows 100 artists in oils, watercolors, pastels and prints, as well as stained glass, fused glass, handmade jewelry, art tiles and Mangum pottery. The gallery is located in a National Register of Historic Places farmhouse at 2839 Broadstone Road in Valle Crucis, between Mast Farm Inn and Mast Store Annex.
For a map and directions, visit http://www.altavistagallery.com or http://www.facebook.com/altavistagallery, or call the gallery at (828) 963-5247.
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 (email@example.com) or (828) 264-6397.