Recompose – Jonny Gilroy (August Guest Artist)

Gilroy.Reinvent Gilroy.Restructure Gilroy.Symbiont Gilroy.Litterfall“Art is about expressing a thought or a feeling through spontaneity. I conform the expression using design elements as a meditation. Through the formation, art is created reminiscent of natural processes.”

“Recompose,” is a study of sculpture using a collection of experiences within nature and rural surroundings. I find a feeling of aliveness when in nature as when making art. There is a connection there that is spontaneous, dynamic, and free. I wanted to take ideas, objects, colors, and shapes from my surroundings and give them new composition, or new life, as art.

Originating from Olean, New York, Gilroy has always had a creative instinct. He attended the State University of New York at Geneseo and graduated with a BA in Art Studio, focusing on drawing and sculpture. Gilroy continues to live a creative lifestyle. He currently resides in Raleigh, NC as a studio and graphic artist.

Brain Pickings – Zac Bender August guest artist

Lola Cudi LouisHello, my name is Zac Bender, and I have been making art ever since I could remember. I use watercolor, acrylic, gouache(a material that is between watercolor and acrylic), ink, markers, and others to create works of art. Creating has always been as much about the process as much as the product. Craftsmanship and mastery of materials is something that has always meant a lot to me and was solidified throughout my high school years by a hard nosed traditional art teacher.

Inspiration comes from anything from pop culture and music to H.P. Lovecraft and the bizarre. I have always had an inclination for the weird and as I get older I seem to become stranger. Eccentric is a word I hear a lot and it seems to fit me pretty well. I go through phases in art. I get obsessed with ranging subjects like traditional japanese tattoos, or redheads, or underwater scenes , or the majesty of nebula and galaxies.

I make art because since I was a kid it was my escape, if I felt awkward I drew. If I felt like I didn’t belong I drew. As I grew up it was less about daydreaming in a boring class or avoiding awkward situations and more about making things that speak to how I felt and generally making my personal demons pretty on a page. I try to express how I am feeling when I make the pieces the best I can. I express my worries and fears. It is my way to cope and deal with personal and general matters.

Debbie Crawford – Guest Artist July 2014

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Debbie Crawford is a self-taught artist who discovered her love to make things at a very young age. Her appreciation of the arts began with admiring the richness of red clay dirt in North Carolina to discovering an array of cultures in Washington, DC.

Debbie’s style of creating mixed media collages rest heavily on her Southern roots; by employing nature as her color palette and assigning found objects, recycled papers and fabrics to complement her artwork.

Her current series entitled Comin’ & Goin focuses not only on the The Great Migration, but also on communal life of African Americans during the 1940 – 60’s (the first phase of the series). I hope each piece offers a story one can connect with. I enjoy listening and seeing the view from another’s eyes. When we share our insight, we share a part of ourselves. And to me, that’s what art is about. Connection. –Debbie C.

Armed with the theory that all are creative, Debbie also host a variety ofCreative Workshops. She is also re-launching her line of everyday notecards (Art & Soul) featuring original illustrations and photography.

Ellen Gamble – show runs July 4th-July 25th

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As a painter, my greatest influence comes from the abstract expressionists. My work is psychologically inspired, combining both the premeditative and the spontaneous. Abstract art is largely intuitive, and this is the process that guides me.

Color composition plays a vital role in my paintings. Palette choices are made instinctually and reflect my emotional state at the time. Whether complex or simple, I am naturally drawn towards structural equilibrium. Replicated forms, both organic and geometric, are symbolic in my work but remain mysterious, their full meaning unknown.

Chaotic Dream – J Liggins – July Guest Artist

BlakeStreetStudios_JaquelineLiggins_Swirls JLIGGINS 002 JLIGGINS 007 My abstract paintings are expressions of freedom and movement, representing my life experiences. With acrylic paint and oil on masonite, an industrial material, I create compositions of vivid journeys to other dimensions. My collages and paintings afford the audience the experience of considering self and spirit and to question the influences of powers greater than our own. Using techniques that include pouring, dripping, pushing and pulling, stopping and starting, to create the effects of blending and separation, masterfully bringing ethereal expressions and thoughts to life.

“My artwork is both a physical process of movement and stillness. My hands work freely, naturally, while my mind focuses on the design, the colors and the textures. In this manner my mind, spirit, and soul are communicating as one entity. As I create, the abstract is limitless and creativity seems endless.”

A box of chocolates- Constance Pappalardo’s multiple personalities in color, black & white and mixed media

Showing July 4th-July 25th

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Constance Pappalaro was born in Lima, Peru. She moved to New York City at the age of eight. The art and culture of the city inspired her to pursue her art studies. After high school, Ms. Pappalardo studied painting at The Art Students League and subsequently continued her education at The School of Visual Arts, in Manhattan.

Ms. Pappalardo is the recipient of various art awards. Her works are included in local corporate collections as well as private collections in the states as well as England, Norway, Germany, Italy , Portugal and her native Peru.
She was chosen to be the signature artist for Cary’s 2007 Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival.
She is one of the founders of The Cary Art Loop and is presently an active member of the abstract painters group, The ChromaZones.

Amy Richards – Sew In Love – First Friday June 6th

P1010596  I still remember the way it felt to run my fingers over the raised threads of the embroidery on the pillows of my childhood bed.  The bright orange and yellow flowers had been sewn by hand by my mother who would later teach me how to embroider and sew in the first grade.  I loved those pillows.
The embroidery used in this series pays homage to my Mom and her passing down this craft to me.  The content of the work is based on my continued fascination with, what I refer to as, “wedding culture.”  Illustrations are created based on wedding iconography such as engagement rings, cake toppers, and flowers and transferred and embroidered onto vintage pillowcases.  I chose vintage pillowcases as my canvas because of their intimate relationships to strangers.  Portions of the patterns on the pillowcases are also embroidered and incorporated into the composition.
Amy attended Kent State University where she earned her BA in Art Education in 2004.  She has shown in various venues throughout the triangle over the past eight years.  She has illustrated many coloring books including The ABCs of NC.  She is currently working on her first children’s book about a Boston Terrier with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Kerri Eckes – Flora – First Friday June 6th

Orchids: Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 30"x30"

Orchids: Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 30″x30″

Kerri Eckes grew up in Abilene, Texas, but moved to Goldsboro, North Carolina, when she was 16. She now calls Raleigh her home, having lived here for the last nine years. Ms. Eckes received her BA in Fine Arts from Mount Olive College in Mount Olive, North Carolina, in 1999. She completed her MFA in Studio Art, with a concentration in Painting, at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, in 2005. She is currently a Full-time faculty member at The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, where she teaches Foundations classes in Drawing, Color Theory, and 2d Design, in addition to Illustration. Ms. Eckes has also exhibited in solo and juried shows throughout Raleigh and Eastern North Carolina, and teaches workshops in Charcoal Portraiture and Pastels. She has been a studio artist at Litmus Gallery & Studios since 2005, where she has open studio on First Fridays.

Pansies: Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 24"x30"

The artist has been drawing since she could hold a pencil. As an adult, she found a box of homework and tests dating back to first grade, where she had drawn in every available empty space on the page. She took her first art class in high school, but had already begun to draw with realism. After initially declaring a Business Major as an undergraduate, Ms. Eckes quickly changed her major to the more “impractical” Fine Arts major. Even though she excelled in other disciplines, art and music were the only subjects that held her interest. She took her first painting course as a college freshman,and was immediately hooked.

Calla Lilly: Charcoal on Watercolor Paper, 49″x34″

Kerri Eckes’ subject matter was portraiture until 2011, when she desired a new challenge. Teaching Color Theory inspired a passion for color, so the most obvious subject matter was florals. Her photo-realistic paintings are characterized by bright, saturated colors, and strong color contrasts. She prefers working on a medium to large scale, which helps create stronger visual impact. Her charcoal drawings are also realistic, and characterized by value – dark and light – contrast. The interest in realism is rooted in her passion for Renaissance art, while the emphasis on contrast is inspired by the dramatic light and dark paintings of Baroque art.

Melissa R. Campbell – Joy in the Journey – First Friday showcase June 6th

SacredBorn and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, Melissa received her B.A. in Art & Design in 2004 from Grand Valley State University. Melissa R. Campbell’s artistic focus is the relationship between emotions and concepts. Most of her inspiration comes from personal experiences. Melissa’s work reflects the journey of her life through the emotion she conveys in each piece. She works mostly in oil, acrylic, charcoal and mixed media because it adds an experimental element to her work. Melissa has presented in numerous exhibitions in the Grand Rapids region. In 2004, Melissa’s piece, “Landscape by Calder”, became part of the Grand Valley State University Art Collection in Grand  Rapids, MI. No WorriesHer piece, “Tickled,” was featured in the July 2007 edition of Art Business News. She was a featured artist in the August 2007 edition of the Grand Rapids Times. In 2008, “Reflection” and “What Does the Future Hold?” became part of the Grand Valley State University Art Collection in Allendale, MI. In addition, “Contemplations of a Queen” and “Tickled” became part of the Spectrum Health Hospital Art Collection in Grand Rapids, MI in 2008. Her piece “Sheer Bliss” was selected as part of the 2009 Celebration of the Arts Festival which represents one of the largest annual juried shows in the country. ConfidenceShe was also a participating artist in the 1st Annual International Art Prize Competition in Grand Rapids, MI in 2010 which represents the largest Art Prize in the world. Melissa is involved in the Haiku Middle Passage Commemorative Exhibit, a traveling artistic collaboration, inclusive of a poet, visual artists and composers. She currently lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband Philip. She is a member the Visual Art Exchange and RAW: Natural Born Artists organization. Melissa was a participating artist in the “RAW: Ensemble” art showcase in Raleigh, NC in 2012 and an exhibit coordinator and participating artist in the “WHO IS MRS ART?” art showcase in Raleigh, NC in 2013. Melissa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, personal travel and Basketball.