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‘Kindred Spirits’

By Jeff Eason (

Article Published: Jul. 16 | Modified: Jul. 16
‘Kindred Spirits’

Tunde Afolayan Famous

Photo submitted

Art and Artifacts in Blowing Rock is a gallery that is right now jam-packed, with powerful artwork created by some of the best local and regional artists around.

This summer, the gallery will feature a few of their artists for special exhibits that will last a month long. Openings for these exhibits will coincide with Blowing Rock’s monthly Art in the Park juried art exposition.

This weekend, Art and Artifacts will feature the works of sculptor Mary-Ann Prack and painter Tunde Afolayan Famous.

The joint art exhibit is titled “Kindred Spirits.”

A preview party for the exhibit will be held at Art and Artifacts on Sunset Drive in Blowing Rock, from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday, July 18, and an artists’ reception will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 19.

Refreshments will be served, and musician Blue Murrow will perform during Saturday’s event.

Mary-Ann Prack

Ashe County sculptor Mary-Ann Prack works in clay, but her finished works are so uniquely painted that they look as if they might be made out of wood or metal.

Prack specializes in sculptures that are inspired by the human form and that are ancient in form yet futuristic in appearance.

“The human figure is an infinite source of inspiration for me as an artist,” Prack said. “My personal expression of the human experience — on a physical, emotional and spiritual level — is revealed in each of the sculptures I create. Clay is an ideal medium for my process.

“I work intuitively, so the controlled flexibility I have with clay allows me to be spontaneous and in the moment. I love the process and challenge of using geometric shapes, spatial relationships, color, line and texture to create figurative sculpture that appear to come alive, each conveying real human qualities and emotions.”

Prack’s sculptures were recently the subject of an exhibit in the main gallery at the Turchin Center for Visual Arts at Appalachian State University.

Tunde Afolayan Famous

A transplant from Nigeria, Tunde Afolayan Famous is “a blazing star in the High Country firmament.”
His colorful paintings contrast the misty, dark shadowy hues of the Blue Ridge with bright explosive tints of the sun and sky.

Now living in Boone, Afolayan has crossed cultures and oceans, studied and lived in England, the Midwest, coastal Carolina and other places and his journey has planted him in the High Country.
Afolayan is translating the mountains, rocks, trees, water, people and animals of the Blue Ridge to his vibrant, vibrating palate of colors. His paintings light up the walls where they hang. It is almost as if no artificial lighting is needed. They resonate with color, form and energy. Upon seeing Afolayan’s paintings, it is impossible not to have your spirits lifted.

Afolayan comes from a culture where communion with spirit is a part of everyday life. The acknowledgement of the presence of worlds within worlds and worlds beyond worlds is a given. He sees with an inner vision and his energetic, spontaneous gestures create splashes, strokes and heavily layered areas that reveal the confident control of his media for clarity of expressions. His color palette, tempered with strong and vibrant hues, is deeply rooted in African aesthetics and sensibilities.

In “Kindred Spirits,” Afolayan and Prack are speaking to each other across time and each of our drawing from ancient futures.

Art & Artifacts

Art & Artifacts is located at 159 Sunset Drive, across from the Blowing Rock School Auditorium.

The preview openings and the Art on the Patio events are held monthly from May until Octover during Art in the Park weekends. The gallery features the works of more than 30 regional artists.

Two businesses under one roof, the art gallery shares space with the Blowing Rock Gallery of Homes and Land. The agency sells and markets properties in four counties of the High Country — Watauga, Ashe, Avery and Caldwell. The agents sponsor the gallery events.

For more information, call manager Lynn Hill at (828) 414-9400.

Additional Images

Tunde Afolayan Famous
Photo submitted

'Inspiration' by Tunde Afolayan Famous

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