Feature Articles

December 2013

Durham Arts Council in Durham, NC, Features New Exhibitions

The Durham Arts Council in Durham, NC, is presenting four exhibits including: Handmade Felt, featuring works by Sharron Parker, on view in the Allenton Gallery through Jan. 2, 2014; The Art and Enigma of Lawrence Feir, featuring works by Lawrence Feir on view in the Semans Gallery through Jan. 2, 2014; Legends of Onile, featuring works by Nadjib Adebola Assani, on view in the Ella Fountain Pratt Legacy Gallery through Jan. 6, 2014; and Spellbinders & Dreamcatchers, featuring works by Joel Tesch, on view through Apr. 13, 2014, at the Durham Convention Center.

Sharron Parker uses her experiences and studies of nature to inform the abstract designs in the felt pieces on view in Handmade Felt. Parker’s influences include butterflies, rocks, the Amazon rain forest, craggy cliff sides, and remote island beaches, and her sense of wonder of these places and objects is evident in the abstract images she creates in her feltmaking.

Parker states: “The simplicity of the technique - combing, layering, and working dyed unspun wool in hot water until the fibers lock - allows me to work spontaneously, and often experimentally. The shape of a piece might come from a bird’s wing, the color from crystals under a microscope, and the texture from the bark of a birch tree. I wish to celebrate nature, not to mirror it.”

Parker began working in handmade felt in 1980, after seeing 2,500 year-old felts from an archaeological dig in Siberia. She was drawn to the simplicity of the process, which allowed her to work spontaneously and to experiment with a technique used by few contemporary artists.

Parker has exhibited her work throughout the United States, at Crafts National in Pennsylvania, Textile Arts International in Minnesota, and the Atlanta Museum of Art and Design, and has also shown in Armenia and Turkmenistan through the Art in Embassies program of the State Department. Parker has had recent solo shows at Methodist University and the Maria Howard Arts Center in Rocky Mount, NC. She currently lives in Wake Forest, NC.

Lawrence Feir, based in Winston-Salem, NC, hopes that the work on view in The Art and Enigma of Lawrence Feir inspires viewers to regard the world differently. Feir has been involved in the arts for the majority of his life and attended the Parsons School of Design in New York before transferring to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst to study painting and sculpture. In 1987 he opened a jewelry store in Huntington, NY, where he honed his abilities as a silversmith creating one-of-a-kind wearable sculptural pieces with sterling silver, gold, and gemstones.

Feir moved to North Carolina in 1989 to pursue photography in Greensboro, NC. He apprenticed with Heroy-Cutroneo Studios in Greensboro, and then received a position photographing airliners at the Greensboro airport. Feir, the son of an aeronautical engineer, found a love of photographing air craft and eventually became the chief staff photographer at Airways International Magazine. He traveled the world to photograph aircraft for Boeing, Airbus Industries, Rolls Royce, and others, but this career path came to an end during the airlines’ financial crisis in the wake of 9/11. Today, Feir has returned to his sculptural roots, working primarily in steel and other metal. He focuses on figurative works and has recently begun creating kinetic sculptures.

Joel Tesch’s Spellbinders & Dreamcatchers, evocative and atmospheric paintings of nature, is on exhibit in the Durham Convention Center pre-function corridor through Apr. 13, 2014. The Durham Convention Center is located next to the Carolina Theatre and the Durham Marriot in downtown Durham. These paintings are available for public view and can be purchased by contacting Lindsay Gordon by e-mail at (lgordon@durhamarts.org).

The Durham Arts Council is a private nonprofit dedicated to supporting the arts in Durham and the entire Triangle Region in North Carolina and has served the community since 1954. Each year DAC serves over 400,000 visitors and program participants, over 1,000 artists, and more than 60 arts organizations through classes, artist residencies, exhibits, festivals, grants programs, technical support, arts advocacy and information services. By supporting the Durham Arts Council, you help DAC fulfill its mission of promoting excellence in and access to the creation, experience and active support of the arts for all the people of our community.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Council at 919/560-2787 or visit (www.durhamarts.org).


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