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Usdan, Ryan and Lindgren art at the Jones House

Article Published: Jun. 30, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Usdan, Ryan and Lindgren art at the Jones House

Jonathan Ryan's paintings are showcased at the Jones House.

On Friday night, July 1, as part of the Downtown Boone Art Crawl, the Watauga Arts Council and Jones House Community Center will showcase new exhibits and an opening reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m., with refreshments. The reception and exhibits are open to the public.

In the Mazie Jones Gallery, the council features the work of husband and wife photographers Dennis & Carole Usdan.

Carole Usdan is a self-taught photographer who has exhibited her work throughout the United States. She divides her time between Boone and Palm Beach, Fla., and studied at the Boca Raton Museum School. Her photographic career has been influenced by her lifetime interest in literature, film and two-dimensional art.

It is through photography that she attempts to comprehend and order her thoughts and to establish connectivity. Her images contain a cohesive visual sensibility and emotional perspective. There is a sense of mystery and a fascination with visual links between life, identity, misunderstanding and culture.

She has appeared in B&W Magazine three times. Also, her image "Face (Distorted)" was selected from more than 10,000 images for the cover of the August 2010 issue. In the current issue of B&W, several pieces from her "Fractured Female" series (many on display currently at Appalachian State University's Turchin Center for the Visual Arts) are featured. Additionally, she has been published in COLOR Magazine.

Dennis Usdan is a fine art photographer and "recovering lawyer." He was born and raised in Long Island, N.Y. He graduated from the University Of Vermont and Boston University School of Law. He has received instruction in photography at ASU's Craft Enrichment Center and the Boca Raton Museum School and Delray Beach Florida Old School Square Art and Photography.

His photos have been winning selections in various media juried competitions. His photography was a winning selection by the Watauga Arts Council and was displayed at the Jones House in 2009 (and now in July 2011); Boca Raton Museum of Art as part of the juried All Florida competition 2009 and 2011; cover of the All Florida competition invitation to artists 2010; a winning selection for B&W and Color Magazine 2011 photography competition. His photography is often described as extracts, abstracts and fragments with significance placed on design, lines, forms, shadows and colors.

The Open Door Gallery features the artwork of painter Jonathan Ryan. Ryan grew up traveling around the world, because his father was in the Navy. He moved to Boone to attend Appalachian State University and graduated in December 2008 with a bachelor's degree in fine art. He said that he has always been a drawer and a painter, and that art was his biggest interest.

He has been a member of the Nth Degree Gallery and Studios in downtown Boone since June 2008 and had his first solo show there in 2009. The show, titled "The Drums are Like the Lettuce," featured more than 100 small paintings. Ryan has also exhibited at the Turchin Center, in Charlotte and Eden, and has work hanging in several area businesses. There was a second exhibit at the Nth Gallery in May this year, which featured 28 collaborative works with artist Ryan Batten.

His paintings are nonobjective abstract works, though the compositions read realistically. He said that by using techniques from representational painting, he has rendered a "real" world in the imaginary space of the picture plane. Visually, he is inspired by graffiti, landscapes and pigment itself.

"The act of painting has become a conversation between the paint and myself," he said. "The paint paints the picture - I am only holding the brush."

The Watauga Arts Council also welcomes this month's featured artist in the Serendipity Gallery - is Sue Lindgren and she joined Marsha Holmes' art class at the Lois E. Harrill Center about three years ago. Lindgren said she's inspired both by the area's scenic beauty, as well as her instructor, adding that she feels the High Country community is rich with creative and inspiring artists and that she is honored to be one among them and have the opportunity to grow artistically.

The Watauga Arts Council and Jones House Community Center are located at 604 W. King St. in downtown Boone. For more information, call (828) 264-1789 or visit

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