Outside In and Inside Out

Article Published: Aug. 1, 2013 | Modified: Aug. 1, 2013
Outside In and Inside Out

‘Reunion’ by Michael Grady

The featured exhibition at Carlton Gallery, “Outside In and Inside Out — Soul Expressions,” is ongoing through Aug. 21.

The exhibition space changes monthly with a variation of artworks from abstract “soul expressions” to landscapes, cityscapes, horses, figurative and even an invitational photography exhibit.

The current exhibition, “Outside In and Inside Out — Soul Expressions” by Toni Carlton and Michael Grady, exemplifies the artists’ collaborative efforts of mixed media work by Carlton and acrylic paintings with Chinese ink by Grady.

They share a common interest in Asian art and philosophy, along with a connection to art that connects creativity, wellness and spirituality, Carlton said, adding that their exhibition refers to an interest in weaving elements, which connect the outer worlds of culture and nature to the inner worlds of mind, spirit and emotion. It also explores concepts of nature, “flow” and the authentic gesture used in Asian art, she said.

Both artists have considerable experience in the study and practice of Asian calligraphy — Carlton through studies with noted Korean-American artist Kichung Lizee and Grady through the study of tai chi, calligraphy and landscape painting at the China National Academy of Art in Hangzhou. Grady established strong connections to the art academy, which Carlton said continue today.

Carlton’s art incorporates expressive calligraphic text in English, Chinese and Sanskrit to create elegant flowing abstract compositions seen through hand-woven fabric adhered to canvas with numerous layers of transparent paint.

Grady creates paintings using subtle layers of color and dynamic calligraphic marks to evoke an indication of landscape — mountains and clouds.

“Each artist’s work displays an interesting area between recognizable imagery and pure abstraction,” Carlton said. “The … exhibition’s fusion of artistic styles and techniques provides a rarely seen glimpse into art, which combines Asian and American sensibilities — to explore the nature of the ‘heroic gesture’ and its connection to light, form, language, body and energy.”

Carlton said she and Grady explore a dimension of paradox — personal and universal, figurative and abstract, poetic and concrete — and join each other in the “unapologetic creation of beauty and harmony.”

“This ‘Outside In and Inside Out — Soul Expressions’ exhibition allows one to see the world (and possibly one’s self) in new and exciting ways,” Carlton said.

Carlton’s calligraphic paintings have juried in the Invitational World Calligraphy Exhibitions held in Seoul, Korea; Beijing, China and Geneva, Switzerland. She was one of two American women artists whose work was chosen for the “Calligraphy Sprout to the West” exhibition in Seoul.

Her calligraphy was also featured in the International Healing Arts Exhibition early this year in Naples, Italy. Carlton wrote a song, “Let Us Sing,” which was the background calligraphy of the two pieces, titled “Healing — The White Buffalo Returns” and “Oneness,” which exhibited in Naples.

“For 20 years, my work has been about the connection of all people through the use of different languages, universal images that represent open hearts, as well as respecting our heritage and recognizing our oneness,” she said.

The gallery is located 10 miles south of Boone and seven miles north of Linville on N.C. 105 in the Grandfather Mountain community. Workshops in painting, mixed media, and expressive arts are held weekly by gallery artist. For more information on artists, exhibitions or available workshops, call (828) 963-4288 or visit http://www.carltongallery.com.

Upcoming exhibitions
Midsummer Group Exhibition
July 27 to Sept. 24
Opening reception – July 27, 2 to 5 p.m.

Savoring Moments in Time
Kevin Beck and Egi Antonaccio
Aug. 24 to Sept. 24
Opening reception – Aug. 24, 2 to 5 p.m.

Sharing the Muse
Vae Hamilton, Kate Worm and Mary Dobbin
Sept. 28 to Oct. 22
Opening reception – Sept. 28, 2 to 5 p.m.

Autumn Group Exhibition
Sept. 28 to Nov. 22
Opening reception – Sept. 28, 2 to 5 p.m.

Visiting Artists Exhibition
Alternative Views - Photography
Dennis Usdan and Carole Usdan
Oct. 26 to Nov. 19
Opening reception – Oct. 26, 2 to 5 p.m.

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