Hallmark sculptures at Alta Vista

Story Submitted (mtfrontdesk@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: May. 22, 2013 | Modified: May. 22, 2013
Hallmark sculptures at Alta Vista

The sculpture work of Alex Hallmark is being showcased at Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis.

Photo submitted

To kick off the official beginning of the High Country summer season, Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis has a new show opening this Saturday, May 25, by internationally collected sculptor Alex Hallmark.

Hallmark is known locally for his sculpture of musician Doc Watson, which is installed on King Street in downtown Boone, as well as his sculpture of a woman gardening, which is installed in the flowerbed in front of Blowing Rock Memorial Park.

However, the Blowing Rock sculptor’s works are in the collections of individuals and institutions all over the United States and Europe. A number of his sculptures are permanently installed in cities, such as the World War II Memorial he created for Morganton, as well as a life-size sculpture of Sen. Sam Ervin Jr.

The pieces currently available at Alta Vista Gallery are smaller works that would be shown indoors on a tabletop, a fireplace mantel, a pedestal or on bookshelves.

“Hallmark has 12 new works here at Alta Vista, so we have an excellent representation of his work in a variety of styles and media,” gallery owner Maria Santomasso-Hyde said. “Some of these are bronzes, and some are bonded materials, such as bonded copper, bonded marble or urethane, which also gives us a large range of prices, from $85 for a urethane piece to $2,250 for a bronze. Most of the works are in the classic realism style that he is known for, but some pieces are a bit more abstracted, with less detail, so there really is a good variety here.”

Hallmark mostly sculpts in water-base clays. For the bonded pieces, he does all of the molding, casting, and finishing right here in the High Country. His bronzes are cast in what he described as the best foundries across the United States.

“I’m really proud that my works are totally created in the United States,” Hallmark said. “I find that the foundries we have here create superior work.”

Hyde said that Hallmark is also an excellent storyteller, so each sculpture has a story.

“To me, that’s the best part of his work,” Hyde said. “First, you study the sculpture, and then think about the story it’s telling you. Then read a brief version of Alex’s story, which we place by the sculpture. It’s fun to see if your story and Alex’s story match up.”

Hallmark also creates garden sculptures, so his next project is to complete an installation in the gardens at Alta Vista Gallery. The first piece, “Spring,” is a life-size female nude, and it will be available at the gallery by late June. It is part of a series of four garden statues, called “The Seasons,” and all four works are available now.

This Saturday’s opening marks the beginning of the fifth annual Avery Tour de Art, which features 13 galleries and studios and is held on the fourth Saturday of each month through October. Brochures, which include a map, for the tour are available at Alta Vista Gallery and at the other 12 stops on the tour.

The June 22 event at Alta Vista will feature Linville oil painter Joan Sporn, who’ll be showing a variety of new works.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Alta Vista Gallery is in its 23rd year of showing fine art and crafts by more than 100 artists in oil, watercolor, pastels, limited-edition prints, stained glass, art tiles and Mangum pottery. The gallery is located 10 minutes from Boone 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, directions and more information, visit http://www.altavistagallery.com or http://www.facebook.com/altavistagallery, or call the gallery at (828) 963-5247.

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 (frank@mountaintimes.com) or (828) 264-6397.

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