Feature Articles

June Issue 2002

Somerhill Gallery in Chapel Hill, NC, Presents Works by Millie Jarrett, Kaola Phoenix, and Silvana Foti

The Somerhill Gallery in Chapel Hill, NC, announces a new feature exhibition of recent works by artists Millie Jarrett, Kaola Phoenix and Silvana Foti. Paintings by Jarrett and mixed media works by Phoenix and Foti will be on display through June 15, 2002.

The three women artists each offer distinctive styling and works that are completely unique. All have received considerable acclaim in their respective genres, and as the three bodies of work hang side by side in the gallery, viewers will see three wonderful examples of contemporary art.

The abstract works on canvas by Millie Jarrett are spontaneous and active. Both subtlety and strength are brought to bear in her paintings, as she wields the abstract brush with skill, experience, and passion. Her works are large and powerful, with a grace and polish that comes only after an artist masters the medium. The Nashville, TN, artist says her work is "based on personal discoveries steered by intuition." Often, this leads her to be surprised, explaining that the spontaneity of her process causes the painting to take on a life of its own.

Jarrett's career as all artist spans over twenty years, and she has won multiple awards, including a purchase award from Watkins College of Art and Design in Nashville, and a merit award from the Renaissance Center in Jackson, TN. She has studied at Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Tennessee, and the Vermont School of Art and Design. She holds a degree in fine art from The Watkins College of Art and Design in Nashville.

Hailing from closer to home, artist Kaola Phoenix is a Chapel Hill resident whose career also spans over twenty years. Of her own work she says, "Pattern and breakup of pattern are basic structural foundations in my work. I'm interested in grids, quilts, maps, calendars, and significant images and cycles that promise some kind of order and guidance." Her work does indeed often remind one of a patchwork quilt in its imagery and construction.

The collage/mixed media artist holds a BA from the University of North Carolina in Art and English, and has done postgraduate work in printmaking. In 1977 Phoenix was among the founders of Center|Gallery, a leading southeastern artists' co-operative for women, the first of its kind in the state. She has won multiple awards, and has shown in many exhibitions in North Carolina and the surrounding region. Her work is in the collections of Central Carolina Bank, RJ Reynolds Headquarters, Duke Medical Center, and the University of North Carolina, among others.

Somerhill's third featured artist is Silvana Foti, whose brightly colored assemblage combines printmaking with three dimensional construction. Her career as an artist has been complemented by her shining career as an arts educator. She fascinates the viewer in her arrangement of pattern and brilliant color, adding elements of brass and dimension which combine to form completely unique designs, vaguely reminiscent of some unnamed old-world process in their mystery, sophistication, and elegance.

Foti currently chairs the Department of Art at Methodist College in Fayetteville, NC. She holds a BFA (Magna Cum Laude) from St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN, and an MFA in printmaking from the same. She holds a North Carolina Graduate Certificate, as well as K-12 North Carolina Art Certification. She is a tenured professor of art at Methodist College, has juried numerous North Carolina exhibitions, and has herself exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions across the state. She has twice won "Professor of the Year" for teaching excellence at Methodist College, as well as an emerging artists grant from the Arts Council of North Carolina.

For more information check our NC Commercial Gallery listings or call the gallery at 919/968-8868.

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