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April 2011

Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, NC, Offers New Exhibitions

The Waterworks Visual Arts Center in downtown Salisbury, NC, presents its Spring exhibition, Identification. Two solo exhibitions and a group show take a broad variety of approaches to the theme of contemporary identity and personal sovereignty. Identification will be on view through May 14, 2011.

Katie Claiborne from Greensboro, NC, is a rapidly emerging young painter whose subtly expressive paintings pinpoint the delicacy of a human moment, hinting at the vast array of emotion beneath the surface of a gesture. She says of her work: “For me, painting is an act of empathy. It demands something intimate, something specific. It demands that I call on my own physicality and psychology in order to find places of connection between the person I am painting and myself.”

In this body of work entitled New Works, Claiborne works with the same models for an extended time and composes multiple paintings while creating dense spaces that function as extensions of the figure, and calling attention to the relative distance between the viewer and subject.

“The tension between physical closeness and accessibility or inaccessibility has become crucial in painting these portraits,” says Claiborne. “The point of view I use places the viewer physically close to the subject, however, the paintings demand an amount of work on the part of the viewer that defies notions of immediacy. The gaze of the subject can either give the viewer further access into the psychology of the subject or deny it.”

Claiborne received her MFA in painting from UNC-Greensboro and has served as an adjunct instructor in painting, drawing, and art appreciation at Catawba College in Salisbury.

Columbia, SC, artist, Susan Lenz, presents a collection of emotionally charged paintings with embroidered messages conveying the importance of decisions as aspects of our individual characters. Her exhibition entitled, Personal Grounds, “is a location in life determined by the doors opened, keys turned, and decisions made.”

Lenz says of her works: “From rising to dying, people make decisions. Some are profound; some are routine; some have significant repercussions; others are cause for celebration. In each instance, more than one option is available and the choice helps define the person making it. This solo exhibition includes portraits selected from the 107 in the ongoing series. Each examines personal decisions without making a value judgment. The focus is on the faces of real individuals and the decisions they’ve made. The titles and works are meant to reflect the choice, confront and challenge the viewer, and stimulate consideration.”

Lenz received a BA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from Ohio State University. She began embroidering in 1986 and has studied under several international fiber artists, such as Valerie Campbell-Harding, Jean Littlejohn, Jan Beaney, and Tilleke Schwarz.

Eleven regional North Carolina artists will take on the question of individualism in today’s society in a group show of self-portraits, entitled You and Me.

Artists featured in the exhibit include Jessica DeHart from Mooresville, John Kuhenbeaker from Eden, Don Moore, Cara Reische, Phyllis Steimel, and James Taylor from Salisbury, Isaac Payne and Jenny Zito-Payne from Charlotte, Juie Rattley from Winston-Salem, Mark Stephenson from Misenheimer, and Nancy Toothman from Morehead City.

Waterworks will also host in the Young People’s Gallery the 28th annual youth exhibition, Celebrating Rowan County’s Young Artists. This display of artwork features the works of nearly 800 students representing Salisbury-Rowan County’s private, independent, and home schools, and public elementary, middle, and high schools. These exhibitions celebrate both the outstanding efforts of the art specialists who teach the creative process, and the extraordinary talents our county’s youth.

Waterworks Visual Arts Center is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Center at 704/636-1882 or visit (

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