New exhibits at Arts & Artifacts

Article Published: Sep. 9, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
New exhibits at Arts & Artifacts

Art & Artifacts and Blowing Rock Gallery of Homes & Land are sponsoring a show entitled "Light, Color & Form," featuring paintings by Steve Brooks, of Hickory, and sculpture by Joel Urruty, also of Hickory.

The opening reception runs from 5:30 until 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, at 159 Sunset Drive. The reception, which is open to the public, is part of the monthly Sunset Stroll on Sunset celebration, held the evening prior to Art in the Park. Sunset Stroll on Sunset is presented by galleries, shops and restaurants located on Sunset Drive.

Painter Stephen Brooks paints mostly from memory and refers to subjects only occasionally. His favorite aspects of painting are color and pictorial structure. Ultimately, these two elements combine in a provocative way to create an atmosphere of color space.

"Stephen's images are relics of visual experiences: Dawn's unique light, the architecture of a winter tree, the landscape of a nude figure," a gallery spokesperson said. "For, Brooks, painting is where thought, observation and activity collide, imperfect, but candid in concept and execution."

Born and raised in Hickory, Brooks learned wood block printing from his father and lessons in design from his mother. Attending Washington and Lee University in Virginia, he took art classes and was deeply influenced by his professor, Mr. I-Hsiung Ju, who introduced him to Eastern philosophy and art.

Brooks made his decision to become a painter after reading a book about French artist Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947). He received a MFA in painting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Later, at the Art Students League in New York, he studied under Ed Dickerson.

Brooks has taught numerous art and art history courses at Elon College, Roxboro College, UNC-G, and Patterson School. He also worked as a preparator at the Cone Museum in Greensboro, giving him close contact with many great paintings in the collection, which included works from the Cone sisters' estate.

He received an additional degree in furniture design from Kendall College of Design in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Sculptor Joel Urruty creates elegant sculptures that capture the true essence of the subject matter. Urruty sculpts pieces of wood into minimalist figures, void of any superfluous information.

He then masks the wood with paint to allow the form to take precedence over the material. Urruty uses monochromatic colors to allow the shadows to play off the subtle shifting facets of his sculptures.

Urruty, of Basque heritage, works out of his studio in Hickory, where he creates one of a kind sculptures in both wood and bronze. Urruty earned a bachelor of science in industrial technology at San Francisco State University. He apprenticed as a furniture maker under David J. Marks, master craftsman, and later went on to earn a master's of fine art in Woodworking and Furniture Design from the School of American Crafts at Rochester Institute of Technology. He currently exhibits his works in the Hickory Museum, San Francisco and New York.

To learn more about these artists and upcoming events at the gallery, visit

About Art & Artifacts

Art & Artifacts and Blowing Rock Gallery of Homes & Land are an unusual combination of two businesses that operate under one roof at 159 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, next door to Mellow Mushroom.

Art and Artifacts exhibits the works of more than 30 High Country and North Carolina professional artists. The gallery offers a diversity of media and styles, appealing to collectors of original works. Blowing Rock Gallery of Homes & Land has eight Realtors who market, list and sell homes, land, commercial and investment properties in four counties of the High Country - Watauga, Avery, Ashe and Caldwell. For more information on Blowing Rock Gallery of Homes & Land, call (828) 414-9400 or visit .

Gallery Times

Gallery Times is a weekly news feature of the Focus section 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 ( or (828) 264-6397.

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