Feature Articles

April 2014

ACME Art Studios in Wilmington, NC, Feature Works by Michelle Connolly, Karl Mullen, and Destry Sparks

ACME Art Studios in Wilmington, NC, is presenting Silver Lining, a series of artworks by Michelle Connolly, Karl Mullen, and Destry Sparks, on view through Apr. 20, 2014.

Michelle Connolly, born in England, moved to Wilmington from Australia in 2007. She works as a full time studio artist at ACME Art Studios, a mixed media artist with an ‘Outsider/Folk Art’ influence. She is a connector of people and recently took on the role of President for No Boundaries International Art Colony. Her connection with Karl Mullen happened in 2009 when she first saw Mullen’s work online and they soon became friends.

Connolly and Mullen have exhibited together at UNCP AD Gallery in Sept. 2013 and at ACME Art Studios and the Wilma W Daniels Gallery for the No Boundaries International Exhibition, Nov 2013 - Jan 2014.

Connolly met Destry Sparks at the ECU Grey Gallery in Greenville, NC, last year seeing his work in the Assemblage group exhibition. All three artists share the spirit of the Outsider/Visionary/Art Brut approach to art making.

Karl Mullen born in Ireland, lives in Williamstown, MA, in a studio that was the cow stall of a 19th-century barn. He uses walnut oil, raw powder pigment and a wax medium to create color-saturated images, painting largely by hand on artist-stock Arches paper, old book pages, sheet music, photographs and other ephemera. Mullen is also a singer/song writer and he describes his paintings as “Acoustic Songs on paper” - Silver Lining is one of the titles of Mullen’s recent songs and seemed an appropriate title for the exhibition for the three dynamic artists. His work is shown and collected internationally and at The New York Outsider Art Fair, The Intuit Show, Chicago and Folk Fest Atlanta. Currently he has a body of work showing at the Bennington Museum, VT.

Destry Sparks is a contemporary mixed media painter and curator from the college town of Greenville, NC, where he studied art and anthropology at East Carolina University. He attaches worn found objects to burlap, wood pallets and window screens by discreet use of industrial adhesives. Sparks paints around these objects to create a visceral surface effect atypical to traditional painting. Inspiration for his work comes from diverse sources including traditional African and Aboriginal craftsmen to contemporary masters Anselm Kiefer, El Anatsui and Gregory Amenoff.

“American outsiders operating without formal training mean a lot to me as well,” says Sparks. “Modern masters Joan Miro, Paul Klee, Marsden Hartley and Robert Rauschenberg are vital influencers to be sure. Jean DuBuffet’s art brut philosophy also strikes a chord with its insistence on a heartfelt approach to making art.”

For further information check our NC Commercial Gallery listings, call ACME Art Studios at 910/232-0823.

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