Archive for the ‘artists’ Category
When Friday rolls around, most people are busy trying to come up with plans for the weekend. Dinner & a movie, shopping, hanging out with friends…..there are a ton of ways to spend your time, but if you’re looking to do something a little different, this is the perfect weekend to do it. Saturday, September 28th is National Museum Day & museums all across the country are opening their doors to the public for free! The annual event, called Museum Day Live! is hosted by the Smithsonian Magazine, & their goal is to get more & more people involved in all of the amazing things that local museums have to offer.
Museums are an essential part of any community. They are a great place for learning, hands-on experiences, and they’re considered by most people to be a trustworthy source of objective information. Believe it or not, museums actually have more annual visitors than all major league sporting events & theme parks COMBINED! I would have never thought that, but museums annually have around 850 million visitors, while sporting events & parks have about 483 million. Museum Day Live! is about encouraging even more people to discover the benefits of museums, and the best part is, it’s free! All you need is a ticket, which can be printed off from the Smithsonian website here. And you can use their map to find all of the museums in your area that are participating in the event.
Lots of venues in North Carolina are taking part. Here are just a few of my top picks:
Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville
The Carolina Raptor Center is a environmental stewardship & conservation home for all types of birds of prey. The center takes in orphaned & injured raptors & nurses them back to health, and then releases them back into the wild once they are ready. There are over 25 different raptor species at the center, including a pair of American Bald Eagles, who have been laying eggs for the past 5 years, some of which have been released into the wild. If you’re looking to see the eagle, this is one of the only places in the southeast that actually rehabilitates & exhibits them for the public. Other birds at the center include the Short-eared owl, the Mississippi Kite, the American Kestral (pictured above), and many more. Visitors can even take part in the Adopt-a-Bird program, which includes some really great perks, or you can witness the release of a bird back into the wild by participating in the Release-a-Raptor program. I think the center would be a really interesting place to visit, and maybe catch a glimpse of some birds you wouldn’t typically see in a normal zoo.
North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh
The NC Museum of History, located in our state’s capital, was conceptualized back in the 1800s by Samuel A’Court Ashe, the publisher of the Raleigh News & Observer. After visiting Boston, a city rich in history, he began campaigning to save the history of NC, so that future generations could experience & learn about it. Now, years & years later, thousands of people visit the museum every year to do just that. There are many permanent collections at the museum, and lots of educational & informational exhibits on display. The Story of North Carolina, the largest exhibit ever produced at the museum, is the perfect way to learn the history of our great state, from the early inhabitants all the way through the 20th century. Check out this video detailing all of the other interesting things you’ll find on a visit to the museum:
Asheville Art Museum in Asheville
Art museums are always a fun place to visit. There’s such a wide variety of interesting things to see and learn about while you’re there. The Asheville Art Museum, which features art from the 20th & 21st centuries, is known as one of the best museums for the arts in Western NC and the Southeast. There are daily and weekly events happening at the museum, all of which are available to the public. Below are just a few examples of some of the art the museum has to offer:
This is a great time of year to visit, as well, because the museum is located in Asheville, which is one of the prettiest places in our state during the fall of the year!
There are many more museums around the state to choose from on Museum Day Live!, and there’s sure to be some in your area, as well. Don’t forget to check out the map here and take part tomorrow!
Some weeks I feel just like this owl! I’m glad the weekend is finally here. Have a great one
NeoCon, the world’s largest annual contract furniture show was last week in Chicago. It’s always a great show for Dreamwalls Glass, and this year was no different. The energy on the show floor was very strong, and while we may have had slightly fewer people in the booth (or just more salesmen on our floor perhaps), the designers and furniture manufacturers we spoke with were super-interested in our glass products and working on real-time projects that they wanted to discuss.
However, I do get a chance to walk the show to absorb some of the over-arcing trends from all sorts of manufacturers. The week after a huge show is the time where I share those spotted trends with you. Three of the biggest trends I spotted at NeoCon 2013: “Industrial Street”, “Privacy Please”, and “Hexa-Gone Crazy”.
Mohawk Commercial greeted me upon my entrance into the Merchandise Mart with their new street-inspired line from the likes of grafitti artists like Queen Andrea and Aakash Nihalani. After that, I started seeing cool mixes of pattern and color everywhere – like this guy I walked with on the street. The color and patterns worked great – and felt very much like living in a creative city. Zenus Fabric used street inspiration for a fabric that broke through the staid styles elsewhere. Schatt Decor had lightweight panels with finishes that looked like very convincingly like distressed and oxidized metal. Even sleek glass fabricators, like Carvart, got into the industrial act with metal mesh laminated between glass for their NeoCon Silver winning “Metallic” line in 16 styles.
The open office idea experienced a bit of a backlash with a HUGE variety of pods and cubicles that acted like flexible little cocoons to give people the privacy they need to focus on work. Seriously, there were WAY too many to show you all I saw on this trend. Borgo had quilted hubs that helped absorb sound and create friendly, intimate environments. HPFI maximized seating footprints in waiting areas while still allowing people to feel like they had their own space. Buzzi Space had a ton of cool cocooning products, but my favorite was a throwback to an old-school phone booth to re-privatize the cell phone conversation. Haworth created the “Window Seat” to create a sense of blinders that filter out the peripheral distractions and help you focus. Sparkeology allowed partitions to be integrated into the sofa while allowing light to filter through and added a functional dry erase surface as well. (although, to be honest, it was a little LOW unless you brainstorm on floor pillows.)
Okay, so technically, while it’s a pentagon (5 sides), the Arcadia “Domo” benches fit together in a modular and flexible fashion; perfect for networking in any hive. OFS Brands featured hexagonal planters on the wall of their showroom to get in the green. Architex “Honeycomb” fabric also looked like nuts and bolts to allude to the industrial trend as well. Six Inch got modular with six-sides ,…and their bright crayon colors were easy to spot throughout the show. Shaw Contract delivered hexagonal modular carpet tiles for an on-trend design in lovely color combinations. Paul Brayton Designs offered the “NuevoBlok” design of fabric that appealed to the quilter in me.
I plan to get a few more trends to you throughout the week. We want to thank everyone who came by our booth on the 8th floor, and took the time to speak with us. For my Twitter and blogging buddies I got to meet face to face, I hope you all had a safe trip home. To American Airlines, thank you for delivering our bags (and my notes) to us once you located them,…it truly helped make this blog possible. And for the many Chicago sights, thank you for showing my family a great time while I did one of my favorite things: talking about Dreamwalls Glass and the design possibilities.
Spring fever has finally hit and our weather over the past few days has been wonderful. Sunny skies and comfortably warm temps have me daydreaming about packing up and taking a quick trip to the beach. That’s the great thing about living here in NC…..a weekend trip to the beach or mountains isn’t unrealistic. Both are only a few hours drive away which is a very nice perk! North Carolina has more than 300 miles of pristine coastline, filled with award-winning beaches like Cape Hatteras, which was named one of the top 10 beaches in the nation by Dr. Beach in 2012, and it’s home to tallest lighthouse in America. Along the coast you’ll find all kinds of amazing wildlife like the wild Banker Ponies and plenty of activities for the entire family. My favorite part of heading to the beach, though, is being able to relax and take in the natural beauty of the NC coast.
Much of this natural beauty is captured by NC native Ray Matthews. His stunning photography is most definitely partly to blame for my current beach obsession! A resident of the Outer Banks, Ray’s love for the coast is evident in his work. He became interested in photography during his college years, particularly interested in landscape and ocean photography. He has received many well-earned awards and recognition, and was featured during the “Our State” episode on UNC-TV, North Carolina’s public television station.
“I’ve always been drawn to the dramatic weather and subtle beauty of the barrier islands. Skies here change constantly, the ocean is endlessly compelling, and the landscape, shaped by the waters on either side, reflects the changing light of the seasons and the moods of the sea. Trying to capture this has kept me shooting over the years.”
Visit Ray’s website and you’ll be amazed by his talent. Browse & purchase more of the coastal photos featured on this blog, or photos from his travels around the rest of North Carolina and other states. His photographs are perfect for note cards, and you can purchase those on his website, as well.
So until I’m actually able to take my beach trip, I’ll have the beautiful work of Ray Matthews to keep me day dreaming. Have a fantastic weekend!!
Friday is finally here and it looks like we’ve got a sunny & warm spring weekend ahead of us, the perfect weather for a road trip! I imagine it’s the same kind of weather artist Chris Wilson was enjoying on his drive back in 2001 when the idea for a new oil painting series came to mind. Wilson was traveling on NC Hwy 64, a well-traveled road that stretches all the way from the coast to the mountains, through big cities and small towns alike, when he started to really notice the beautiful scenery surrounding him. After collecting a few travel brochures and stopping to take some photographs, an idea began forming. The idea eventually grew into Wilson’s latest series titled “Murphy to Manteo–An Artist’s Scenic Journey“.
The “Murphy to Manteo” series, when completed, will be comprised of 100 large-scale paintings of landscapes all along Hwy 64. 38 of the 100 paintings are completed, and you can see them on his website. Wilson has painted everything from the Looking Glass Falls in Transylvania County, to Chimney Rock in Rutherford County. There’s also a wonderful painting of Alexander County (where I live), that really captures the simple beauty of the countryside that I love so much in my hometown.
Wilson hopes to have this journey completed in late 2014. A journey, that to him, “is about rediscovering the riches of North Carolina in a pre-Interstate natural landscape and now hoping that you might experience the journey with me through these paintings.” And that’s just what this series does! It allows NC natives, and folks who have never had the opportunity to visit, to “travel” through NC and see what all our beautiful and diverse state has to offer.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey so far, and I can’t wait to see what other North Carolina treasures Wilson brings to life in the future! To read more about Chris Wilson and his artwork, click here for a great article from Our State. To see more of Wilson’s artwork, including his early abstract works & still life paintings like the sunflower below, visit his gallery page.
Have a great weekend everyone!
“A jewel in the crown of Asheville” is how Mayor Terry Bellamy describes The River Arts District of Asheville, NC. The area is home to over 165 artists and their studios, and houses an amazing variety of all kinds of art and sculptures. This colorful part of town is where you’ll find artist Jeff Pittman’s studio.
Pittman has been around art his entire life. He grew up watching his father paint scenes from various places here in NC, and that influence carried into his adult life. Jeff uses his amazing talents to create beautiful paintings of everything from coastal areas to mountain scenes, small towns to big cities, and I think that great variety is one of the first things that caught my eye about his work. When you visit the gallery page on his website, you’re greeted with a vast selection of colorful paintings, all of which grab your attention.
For folks that live here in North Carolina, it’s nice to see a painting of an area or building and be able to say “hey….I’ve been there before!” Pittman really knows how to capture the realness of the places he paints. For people who don’t live here, his work will actually make you want to head to our beach to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse or catch the sunset at Mt. Pisgah in Asheville. Heck, I do live here and his work makes me want to take a weekend trip to some of these places!
And just like his NC paintings are so inviting, so are his works of out-of-state places. I’m a huge fan of anything New York, and I love this Midtown Manhattan painting from his City Skyline series. All of the different colors used really capture the vibrant feel of New York.
This is just a small sample Jeff Pittman’s fantastic art. For many more paintings that include everything from The Grand Canyon to “The Old Well” at UNC Chapel Hill in NC, check out his website here. I’m sure you’ll find something you LOVE and his art may even inspire you to take a trip somewhere….it did for me! Thanks to Jeff for allowing us to feature his work on our post today.
Have a great weekend everyone and a Happy St. Patty’s Day
Yesterday’s post on the glass artists featured in Taupe gallery couldn’t be contained, and the amazing talent had to spill into another day! In addition to the 3 artists featured yesterday, I have 3 more (or is it 4) to add to your “must watch” list.
Why am I spending so much time on glass art, when it’s something we don’t even make? Well, for several reasons:
- Texture and light play is an important part of interior design, and when you have a reflective surface in one area,….for instance a Dreamwalls Color Glass table or accent wall,…it is important to echo the reflective quality elsewhere in the room to create either balance or tension.
- It’s also important to note the way color is transmitted through glass. No other material gives color the life and power that it does when it is in/on glass.
- I’m an artist at heart. To create one piece of art – that will never occur again – is a thing of beauty. Knowing the difficulty of glass blowing and lampworking, where you are sending glass back to it’s prior molten state through fire to make something new, is the pinnacle of artistic creation.
- You never know where inspiration will strike a designer. Who knows? If they see a beautiful glass vessel, maybe they’ll be inspired to translate that beauty into a whole room featuring Dreamwalls Color Glass.
Now, on to more artists featured at Taupe Gallery:
Ian Kessler-Gowell grew up in Falls Church, Virginia. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA where he earned a B.F.A. Ian focused on working with glass and wood while exploring a variety of other materials and approaches. During college, Ian also pursued other interests, including volunteering with aquaponic research, and attending a workshop at Paolo Soleri’s Experimental City, Arcosanti, in Arizona. After graduation, Ian worked as an assistant to Rick Sherbert at his studio in Glen Echo, Maryland where he instructed group and private glass lessons. Ian is a former resident artist at the EnergyXchange in North Carolina, which is where Jim Lyall of Taupe Gallery first learned of him.
According to the artist, Kessler-Gowell, working with glass is all about finding balance, “I attempt to focus on simple clean functional ware. But often veer into weirdness. I find object making to be a very abstract form of story telling, the building blocks of a cultural identity. Whether it the richness of ancient objects worn with use or the crispness of modern design, it is how they capture a sense of time and place that speaks without words.”
Robert Levin is an internationally known glass artist who lives and works near Burnsville in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, he received his BFA from Denison University and his MFA from Southern Illinois University. He was formerly the Resident Glass Artist at Penland School of Crafts, and has lectured, taught, and led workshops throughout the US, in Ireland, and in New Zealand. He has exhibited widely in the US, Europe, Japan, and the former Soviet Union. His work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of American Glass, the High Museum in Atlanta, the Contemporary Glass Museum in Madrid, the Ebeltoft Glasmuseum in Denmark, the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
Rob Levin has received a Southern Arts Federation/NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, two North Carolina Arts Council Fellowships, and a NC Arts Council Project Grant. For nine years he created the NC Governor’s Entrepreneurial Schools Awards. He has twice created the NC Governor’s Business Awards in Arts and Humanities, and has also made works which have been presented to visiting dignitaries to our state.While he makes beautiful urns, vases and vessels he calls “baskets”, he does really amazing fruit and vegetables that are great accessories to add a bit of whimsy to the home.
Katherine and William both grew up in New Jersey and met while attending art school in Philadelphia. They married in 1968, and anxious to leave the city, they accepted Artist in Residence positions at the Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. In the early years, Katie worked in hand built porcelain and Billy, very influenced by Scandinavian and colonial American glass design, started producing a variable line of goblets and sculptural pieces. In 1971, Billy, together with glass pioneers Mark Peiser and Fritz Dreisbach took part in planning and hosting the first meeting of the Glass Arts Society. This organization has since grown into an international organization with over a thousand members.
Currently Both Artists produce individual pieces for gallery shows and collaborate with two assistants on the functional work. Their oldest son Josh is a physician in Cambridge MA, and their other son Alex is a respected glass artist and professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art, carrying on the Bernstein name as a master glass artisan.
Again, a huge thank you to Jim Lyall, of Taupe Gallery and Taupe2, for opening up your gallery, your expertise, and your keen eye for amazing art in glass.
Taupe Gallery is a local shop and gallery in downtown North Wilkesboro run by Jim Lyall – a designer with an eye for contemporary craftsmanship and artists . His background as a graphic designer, interior designer, and floral designer give him a special eye for color that often leads him to curate a variety of glass pieces from varied and unique artists in the region. On a recent shopping trip, I couldn’t help but notice these various pieces and Jim was kind enough to elaborate on a few of these talented glass artists.
How Jim Lyall of Taupe Gallery fits so many great artists into one small space, I’ll never know. Your eyes are exhilarated by all the pattern and color in the shop, and I love seeing all the glass pieces that are so unique. Urns, vases, “dwellings” and creatures – Bowls, veggies, bottles and fruit – Matte, shiny, iridescent and intricate patterns – everywhere your eye lands, it is dazzled. Taupe Gallery prides itself on the ability to showcase established and emerging artist working in a variety of media. What also is striking is the amazing amount of glass talent in the Western North Carolina region. Jim can ship anything from Taupe nationwide, in case you see something you love on his Facebook page.
Kenny Pieper was born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in the mountains of North Carolina. He began his craft career in high school when he studied at the Penland School of Crafts. Initially, he studied pottery with Norm Schulman and Cynthia Bringle. Later, he found his passion for glass under the tutelage of Richard Ritter. He subsequently received his B.F.A. from California College of Art and Design, Oakland, CA, then spent the next 16 years working as a glassblower in the San Francisco East Bay area.
Pieper’s career came full circle when he left California and moved back to North Carolina. While constructing a studio there, He worked at Penland School and managed the glassblowing and lampworking studios. It was during this fruitful time that he developed his expertise in the tradition of Italian glass. Kenny now resides in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Reflecting the harmony and beauty of his surroundings, Kenny produces an exquisite line of glass vessels and sculpture.
Scott Summerfield currently resides in Western North Carolina with his wife, Liz Summerfield and daughter, Roby Leigh. They both work from their studios located at their home in Bakersville, North Carolina. Scott grew up on Sunset Beach, a barrier island located on the coast of North Carolina. Much of his inspiration comes from his close proximity to the sea. Scott studied glass blowing at the renowned Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tennessee.
According to the artist, “My process involves hand blown parts, which are later cut, ground, polished and assembled. Although my larger works are titled as recognizable familiar objects, such as bottles or teapots, they are purely sculptural forms. The intention is not for a bottle to function as a vessel, rather to stimulate the viewer through its movement, color, fluidity, and grace.”
Scott is a current member of the Southern Highland Crafts Guild. He sells his work nationwide through exhibitions and galleries. You may also purchase his work or custom order directly from him through his web site.
John Geci was born and raised in rural Litchfield, Connecticut. He attended Hartwick College in upstate New York where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and first worked with and realized his interest in glass. After college, Geci studied at Penland School of Craft: first as a student, then as a studio tech, and teacher’s assistant. At Penland, Geci was able to study and work with glassblowers from around the world, and learn many different styles and philosophies of working with glass.
In 2001, Geci became the first resident at the Energy XChange, a glass studio which utilizes the methane from a dormant landfill to power the glass furnaces. It was here that Geci was able to develop his unique line of glassworks. In 2007, Geci completed building his glass studio located in the mountains of western North Carolina near Penland School. His studio sits atop a hill above Courtney Martin’s pottery studio, their house, and gardens.
“Each piece I make captures my focused time and thoughts, ” stated Geci. ”Glass is often described as a frozen super-cooled liquid. I prefer to think of it as static motion. With my work I try to have each form serve as a canvas to display the inherent beauty and simple elegance of the glass.”
To own a unique piece of glass is an honor. It’s a labor of love and science, patience and kismet,….and it’s something that is timeless that will never go out of style. I so appreciate Jim Lyall of Taupe Gallery for bringing these amazing artists to our attention.
New Hampshire-based artist, Thomas Meyers makes beautiful artwork out of glass and mirror. While he works in several different types of media, including bamboo, paper and wood; I find his stained glass pieces are the closest to my heart.
To make his mirror pieces, Meyers uses various iridescent, painted and textured sheet glass, hand cut and precisely set onto a framed wood panel. Many of his pieces are available for sale on the Artful Home website. Some of the glass pieces he uses are handpainted; some are iridescent or dichoric glass. Many pieces have a textural quality, and his mosaic process allows the dimension of the glass to add interest to the mirror border, almost like a glass quilt.
According to his website, Meyers compares his process to, “transforming a pile of stones into a beautiful stone wall. Each element must occupy its correct place for the beautiful end result.” I couldn’t agree more. When his piece is complete, it is like each bit of glass was meant for that exact spot. Beautiful.
Yesterday (Jan. 31st) was “Inspire Your Heart with Art” day. Art comes in many different forms and people express their art in many different ways. For some, it’s painting, sculpting, singing or dancing, but for one man it’s bringing together old “junk” and spare parts to create something unique that’s all his own. That man is Vollis Simpson from Wilson, NC. Simpson, who is now 93, worked with machinery for years, and when he retired, he realized just how many spare parts and little pieces of this-and-that he had accumulated through the years. So, instead of trashing them, he decided to start making windmills out of the parts and that’s when his popular Whirligigs were born! Whirligigs are creative, wind-driven pieces of art and if you visit downtown Wilson, you’re sure to see them just about everywhere.
Simpson’s work has become such a big part of the community that the town of hosts the Wilson Whirligig Festival every year to celebrate the arts and crafts of the locals. This year will mark the opening of the Wilson Whirligig Park in downtown Wilson. The whirligigs from Simpson’s farm are currently in the moving process and the park will be opening sometime in November. The park will feature an outdoor museum with lots of educational and recreational activities for all ages.
These whirligigs are definitely one-of-a-kind and they prove that with a little imagination, even “junk” can be turned into something pretty cool!