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Artful Union & Explorations in Realism

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Artful Union & Explorations in Realism

Published: 12:28 PM, 08/02/2012
Last updated: 12:01 AM, 08/26/2012

Two exhibitions featuring three artists, each working in three very different mediums, has just opened at The Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk.

The featured exhibits are “Artful Union,” featuring wood-fired clay from Courtney Martin and blown glass from John Geci, along with “Exploring Realism,” spotlighting Loren DiBenedetto’s oils on linen.
These two exhibits run Aug. 2 through 25, with a reception with the artists this Saturday, Aug. 4, from 4 to 6 p.m.

“This is a special opportunity to meet three diverse regional artists and celebrate their newest work,” gallery director Liz Brown said.

“Artful Union” is the first time the work of Martin and Geci has been officially shown together in a two-person exhibit. Their work is often seen side by side in their own home, because these artists share theirs lives together, as well as their passion for art and the life of studio artists.  
Geci’s blown glass work shows his technical mastery of material and his finely tuned artistic eye for using shape, form, movement and color to create seductively elegant forms.

Martin creates her functional wood fired pottery with the eye of a cook and gardener, as well as a highly skilled clay artist. She pays careful attention to the feel and function of her work and delights in knowing that her pieces will become that favorite cup for morning tea or the special vase to hold the first flowers of spring.

DiBenedetto considers herself a realist in everyday life, and her paintings shown in “Realistic Explorations” demonstrate how realistic she can really be. This classically trained artist creates still life oils on linen that can cause viewers to stand in amazement of the clarity of her subjects and be drawn in by her rich talent for composition and ability to manipulate light, Brown said.

“These three artists’ work always bring a lot of excitement, and their exhibits have been highly anticipated during this 20th anniversary Season at The Art Cellar,” Brown said. “Don’t miss out on seeing all the work in these exhibits.”

The reception runs Saturday, Aug. 4, from 4 to 6 p.m., and The Art Cellar’s regular hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Art Cellar’s other exhibitions feature all of the gallery artists, including several new additions.
For more information, contact The Art Cellar Gallery at (828) 898-5175 or visit

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 ( or (828) 264-6397.