There’s a buzz going on at the Mahogany House in Waynesville.
Normally, one could attribute that to a woodturning tool, handheld blowtorch or whatever else an artist might need to turn one’s vision into a physical reality. But today, that buzz is hearty conversation about the upcoming exhibit at the Haywood County Arts Council up the road on Main Street.
In one gallery in Waynesville this month, the nations of the world will gather. While the international dance and song of Folkmoot will take their traditional place in Haywood County’s summer calendar, this year international art will also make an appearance at “The World Around Us,” a show put on by the Haywood Arts Council in Gallery 86 on Main Street in Waynesville.
The show runs through July 30 and features works from seven artists from across Europe and Central America. Their works range in scope, including painters, weavers, photographers and mixed-media artists.
Silvia Williams is a native of Cuba, and the warm Spanish lilt remains in her voice and laugh, though she hasn’t lived there in more than 50 years. Williams spent much of her career as a foreign language teacher, at universities and in public and private schools. But her dream, and now her career, was in abstract art.
“I had a sort-of drawing talent and little by little, I just kept on painting and just recently I feel like I became what I wanted to be and that is an abstract painter,” said Williams. She’s not always been a North Carolinian — she and her husband moved here from Florida around 10 years ago — but the state has been intertwined through her life.
“I feel kind of fated to North Carolina from the beginning,” said Williams. “I came here to school in my early teens and then I married this North Carolinian, I went to the University of North Carolina. North Carolinians, especially westerns, remind me a lot of Cubans.”
Though she said her Cuban heritage doesn’t have a direct effect on the watermedia pieces she produces today, at least one piece of her Caribbean culture still shines through.
“I imagine that the thing that perhaps that could have influenced that is that I love color so much and my painting is a lot about color,” said Williams.
She’s learned her craft over the years through classes, workshops, books and the unrivalled teacher that is hands-on experience.
Today, her process isn’t mapped out in steps, but intuited along the way.
“I never have a definite plan, it just evolves from there,” said Williams. “If I plan something … that’s when it dies.”
Her best pieces, she said, have evolved in that way. And those are the ones she chooses when deciding what to put in shows. If she likes it, it goes.
And for Williams, it’s a good system. The ones she sells are usually the ones she loves.
Williams’ work can be seen at Gallery 86 and also at Gallery 262 in Frog Level.
Yvonne Van der Meer Lappas has lived an international life. That’s how she describes her journey from Amsterdam to Clyde, with many global stops in between.
Lappas has been an artist her whole life, studying at Paris’ L’Ecole des Beaus Arts at the Sorbonne after finishing school in the Netherlands.
Then, however, she turned her artistry to industry, working in fashion design for 16 years.
Her career took her to all of the usual hot spots for haute couture — New York, Paris, Rome — but didn’t quite fulfill her need for artistic expression.
“That was just making a living and fashion is very demanding,” said Lappas. But she squeezed the painting in at night, taking workshops and classes at the Art Student’s League in New York and studying the techniques of Rudolph Steiner and his watercolor veil paintings.
Then she and her husband moved to Clyde around 20 years ago, and she leapt into not only her own artistry, but the area’s vibrant artistic community.
“It is totally different from New York City, where everything is high dollar and big art shows and big money,” said Lappas, mentioning craft schools like Penland that feature traditional artistry that isn’t often seen in larger urban areas. “It is very charming to see how much interest there is in art here. It really is no wonder that people like to come here.”
When asked what has kept Lappas involved in her own creations and the artistic scene throughout the years, she replies as though that is, of course, a foregone conclusion.
“It’s a lifeline for me, it’s a voice that I have to follow. Any artist could tell you that. It’s a must. You have to get it out of you.”
The Haywood County Arts Council will host the Appalachian Pastel Society’s second National Juried Exhibition beginning Wednesday, Oct. 20, through Saturday, Nov.13.
Grand prize for Best of Show is $1,000. Many other prizes will be awarded including pastel sets, other art supplies and product certificates. In conjunction with the show, artist and exhibition juror Ann Templeton will be teaching a workshop on “Abstracting the Landscape in Pastels” Oct. 14-18. Templeton is a nationally known oil/pastel-conceptual impressionist. For more information on the workshop visit: www.appalachian-pastel-society.org
The National Juried Exhibition finalists include more than 30 artists. Those from Western North Carolina include Peggy Duncan of Bryson City; Joyce Kay Gordon of Marshall; Nancy Clausen of Swannanoa; Susan Sinyai of Asheville; Carol Branton Morrow of Swannanoa; and Fran Greenberg of Asheville.
For more information about the Appalachian Pastel Society visit the web site at www.appalachian-pastel-society.org.
WHAT: “Appalachian Pastel Society National Juried Show,” an exhibition of pastel works by thirty-nine US artists
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 22 through Saturday, Nov. 13. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Artist’s reception on Friday, Oct. 22, from 6 o 9 p.m.
WHERE: Haywood County Arts Council’s Gallery 86 located at 86 N. Main Street, Waynesville.
ADMISSION: Free and open to the public
“Fantasies in Fiber and Fabric,” an exhibition of three-dimensional garments, hats, bags, and one-of-a-kind original dolls by Toni Carroll, will run from Wednesday, Aug. 25, to Saturday, Sept. 18, at Gallery 86 in Waynesville.
Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There will be a special artist’s reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 3, in conjunction with the Waynesville Gallery Association’s Art After Dark event.
Inspired by nature and driven by passion, Toni Carroll’s work in “Fantasies in Fiber and Fabric” are enchanting and astonishingly beautiful. A Jackson, Miss., native currently living in North Carolina and Florida, Carroll shares her zeal of fabrics and design.
“For the Love of Color: Mixed-up Media,” an exhibition of works by Sylvia Everett, will take place from Wednesday, Aug. 4, to Saturday, Aug. 21. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through. A special artist’s reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6, in conjunction with the Waynesville Gallery Association’s Art After Dark event.
In 1995, Everett was one of the first artists to exhibit at the Haywood County Arts Council’s newly founded Little Gallery on Church Street. From 1995 to 2001, she was a resident artist at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, Mass. She maintained a working studio on campus and provided help and guidance to students who chose to use art as a way to explore theological questions.
In addition to the weaving, mosaic, and painting of this exhibition, Everett has created many large banners using painted silk and cut paper as well as seasonal installations for First United Methodist Church in Waynesville.
Everett has also provided worship settings for Lake Junaluska and was an artistic consultant for the Bethea Welcome Center, where her large sculptural installation, “Song of Justice,” is permanently displayed. That sculpture, composed of 27 vintage organ pipes and authentic ethnic fabrics, honors the many cultures of people who come to Lake Junaluska.
The Haywood County Arts Council’s Gallery 86 will host the exhibit, “Natural Perspectives,” featuring the photographic work of Vietnam veteran George Schober.
The concept for Natural Perspectives, which opens Oct. 31, is based on three groups of subject matter: clouds, leaves, and botanicals. As Schober explains, “I have always viewed and interpreted the many wonders of our world from a visual perspective, photography has allowed me to express these vignettes of beauty, mystery and interest in a medium that is easily shared with others.”
Schober’s love of photography began in 1970 while stationed in Japan after a tour of duty in Vietnam as a United States Marine. He purchased his first 35mm camera and used it to explore and document this visually unique country and its peoples.
Subsequent years were devoted to education, career, and family, but photography always remained an outlet for Schober’s expression. His passion for photography was renewed in 1998 during a trip to Paris. And now Schober’s photography has progressed through film in the wet darkroom to digital images in the digital darkroom.
In addition to printing on archival paper, Schober uses the new AluminArte process; a unique, high definition imaging technology on aluminum. Unlike imaging processes that print on top of a coating applied to the paper, AluminArte embeds the image into the coated finish of the aluminum. The resulting image has a much wider range of colors that are richer and brighter than traditional professional grade prints with unrivaled depth of field. Schober’s portfolio includes images of his travels, landscapes, abstracts, candid street scenes, botanicals, and transportation images.
Natural Perspectives is the second showing for Schober in Gallery 86. In July 2005, the Arts Council opened its new visual art space with the Sawtooth Center’s traveling exhibition, A Thousand Words: Photographs by Vietnam Veterans. Schober is one of the veterans whose work was part of that exhibition.
Natural Perspectives runs through Saturday, Nov. 14. An artist’s reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the gallery.
For more information about the show visit the Haywood County Arts Council website at www.haywoodarts.org. This project is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.
By Michael Beadle
The leg. The hand. The face. The breast.
By Michael Beadle
Luke Allsbrook has a voice as soothing as his paintings.
He explains his craft with the calm of someone who has spent hours in solitary reflection, emerging from nature with gifted insights. Whether it’s a vast stretch of beach, a mountain pasture or glowing houselights in a suburban home, there’s an invisible breeze hushing peripheral noise as you enter his world of oil paintings.