Feature Articles

April 2014

Artspace in Raleigh, NC, Features Works by Artists Association Members

Artspace, a non-profit visual art center in downtown Raleigh, NC, is excited to present several new exhibitions centered on artwork by Artspace Artists Association (AAA) members in its Gallery 1 and Upfront and Lobby Galleries this April. Opening receptions will be held on the Apr. 4, from 6-10pm.

Catherine Thornton’s April exhibition Friends, Sense and Non-sense (Apr. 4-26, 2014) in the Upfront Gallery features her imaginatively conjured animals and human figures. She creates relationships to identify what she calls the “crossing of the senses,” when emotions are not simply happy or sad. “In the middle of sad, sometimes we laugh. In the middle of happy, we cry,” says Thornton in her artist statement. In the situations that art conjures, Thornton asks whether these reactions are sense or nonsense, and whether friendships can help sort out the difference. Her ceramic sculptures are accomplishments in striking realism, while the imagined world they inhabit hums with whimsy and eccentricity.

Thornton earned a BFA in painting and sculpture from Longwood College (currently Longwood University), VA. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and her work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Thornton’s work has also been published in Lark Publication’s 500 Cups.

Artspace exhibits all new paintings by prominent abstract painter Ashlynn Browning (Apr. 4-26, 2014) in the show New Geometric Constructs. Her geometric abstractions, painted with sumptuous strokes of paint, are hybrids of geometric forms and her own intuitive, painterly process, on view in the Lobby Gallery.

As the artist writes in her statement, “Some of my paintings read as ‘places,’ of both a geographic and psychological nature. In others, geometric forms – some precarious and toppling, some bold and assured – function as stand-ins for figures. Each of these figures displays an individual personality, mood and implied narrative.”

In Browning’s most recent work, she stacks forms into painterly grids, ladders, and walls. She retains the hexagons and webs of her previous body of work, but, as the artist states, they are “partially buried beneath chunkier forms that play with weight and architecture.” She continues with the concept of opposing forces—whether expressed with color, a range of painterly textures, or linear variations. Her multiple stages that result in a finished work contribute to the organic feel and complex surfaces.

Browning has received grants and residency fellowships from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, United Arts Council, Vermont Studio Center, and Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She has been selected to attend the International Artists’ Symposium in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Germany during the summer of 2014.

Browning’s work was featured in the 2009 Southern edition of New American Paintings and in 100 Southern Artists from Schiffer Books. Recent exhibitions include Proto Gallery, Hoboken, NJ, Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta GA, Greenhill, Greensboro, NC, and if ART Gallery, Columbia, SC.

Browning lives in Raleigh where she maintains a studio at Artspace. Her work is represented by Flanders Gallery, Raleigh, if ART Gallery, Columbia, SC, and Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta, GA.

Gallery 1 features the juried exhibition New Works (through Apr. 19, 2014), showcasing artwork created by Artspace Artists Association members. New Works is an opportunity for Artspace artists to present their most current and innovative work, and work is required to have been created within the past year. This year, Tom Braswell, Interim Gallery Director of the Wellington B. Gray Gallery at East Carolina University, served as the juror. Work on exhibit was also judged to determine a Best of Show, an Award of Distinction, an Award of Merit, and two Honorable Mentions. Award winners will be announced on the April First Friday.

Braswell grew up in Wilson, NC, where he continues to reside. He graduated from NC State University in 1975 with a BA in English. Additionally, he has studied photography at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC and at the Appalachian Environmental Arts Center, Highlands, NC. In 1991, he received a MFA from Clemson University (studio in photography). He has worked as a poet-in-residence, an arts administrator, a gallery director, and a photography instructor. Braswell has edited a literary arts magazine, loblolly, juried art exhibitions, and is currently the Interim Gallery Director of the Wellington B. Gray Gallery at East Carolina University, where he also teaches photography. As an artist, he has exhibited his photographs nationally and at the 2014 Pingyao International Photography Festival in China.

Artspace is a nonprofit visual art center dedicated to providing arts education and community outreach programs, creating an environment of 120 professional artists and presenting nationally acclaimed exhibitions. Located in downtown Raleigh in the historic Sanders Ford building, Artspace has been providing the community with the opportunity to interact with working artists and to participate in hands-on arts education since 1986.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings visit (www.artspacenc.org).

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