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June 2011

Haywood County Arts Council in Waynesville, NC, Features International Artists

Haywood County Arts Council in Waynesville, NC, will present the exhibit, The World Around Us, an exhibition of international artists living and working in Haywood and Buncombe counties in North Carolina, on view in Gallery 86, from June 29 through July 30, 2011. A reception will be held on July 1, from 6-9pm in conjunction with Waynesville’s Art After Dark.

The exhibition features work by dynamic and diverse artists born outside the United States who reside in our midst, hence the title “The World Around Us.” From abstraction to hand-woven textiles, each artist creates a unique perspective based on his or her world culture, and the cultural sphere of the art world to explore the far reaching consequences of color, form, concept, and execution. Diverse backgrounds, subject matter, and art medium, all contribute to the creative process.

Featured artists are: Domenico “Mimmo” Amelio, Italy; Asya Colie, France; Juan Pablo Peña Mejia, Mexico; Lioubov Petrova, Russia; Yvonne J. van der Meer, The Netherlands; Marjorie Warren, Scotland; and, Silvia Williams, Cuba. The show’s curator, Stephanie Troncale is from France.

Abstract artist Mimmo Amelio is now experimenting with a new painting method he calls, “Fusionism of Colors.” He describes this union between colors in his paintings as “a random occurrence….the colors blend in a nontraditional way on canvas but still maintain a sense of balance.” Mimmo lives in Waynesville.

Asheville, NC, painter Asya Colie grew up in the South of France and is influenced by her childhood home, and the fashion world of Paris. Colie says, “The colors of WNC inspire my memories and visions of women, Voila!” She uses acrylic on canvas and mixed media to express women’s portraits veiled in mystery to continue her works of “Visage Voilee.”

Yvonne J. van der Meer was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where she developed a great love for the arts early in life. Upon completion of her formal education she attended L’Ecole des Beaus Arts at the Sorbonne in Paris. However, her calling as an artist was delayed for a 16-year haute couture fashion career in Amsterdam, New York, Paris and Rome. Afterwards she once again pursued her art studies - first, nightly at the Art Student’s League in New York; then later, at Anthroposophy seminars and through Rudolph Steiner’s teachings of watercolor veil paintings. Yvonne’s use of organic forms and colors demonstrates her deep connectedness to the earth. Yvonne lives in Clyde, NC.

Juan Pablo Peña Mejia’s work can be characterized as having elements of surrealism after the great master of surrealism, Salvadore Dali and other surrealists like Max Ernst and Yves Tanguy. Mejia’s work explores the visual images of the subconscious mind in creating art without the intention of logical understanding. Mejia is a native of Mexico and resides in Waynesville.

Born and raised in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, Lioubov Petrova is a photographer by training. For three years prior to her arrival in the United States she studied the history and theory of arts at the Saint-Petersburg Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In 2001 she graduated (BFA/Photography) from the Cooper Union School for the Advancement of Science and Art (New York, NY).

Petrova is drawn to photograph out-of-the-way places that often go unnoticed. She explains, “I feel that there is a lot we take for granted. Always in motion, we race towards our destination that seems to be just around the very next corner. I feel that too many times we find the present moment not good enough. And yet, it is the only real thing, the only time we have. We need to learn to pay attention.” Petrova lives and works in Haywood County.

Marjorie L. Warren, a native of Cambuslang, Scotland, studied art at Hamilton Academy and worked as a carpet designer before coming to the United States where she studied weaving with Catherine Ellis. Specializing in tartan design and weaving, Warren has designed and woven tartans for colleges, golf clubs, pipe bands and individuals. She is a member of the Southern Highland Crafts Guild, the Western North Carolina Fiber Guild, and the Southeastern Fiber Forum. She has been honored for her work by the Scottish Heritage Center at St. Andrews College in North Carolina and by the Scottish Society of Antiquaries. She lives in Lake Junaluska, NC, where she designs and weaves for her company, Thistle Studio.

Cuban-born artist Silvia Williams works in mixed media expressing herself using feelings and imagination that are influenced by her environment. She earned as Master of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and had a long career teaching at the university, private, and public school levels. She has taken workshops with nationally-known artists Barbara Nechis, Pat Weaver, Diane Maxey, Chuck McLaughlin, and Ann Vasilik. She is a past president of the Blue Ridge Water Media Society. Williams is represented by Gallery Two Six Two in Waynesville.

A native of France, the exhibition curator, Stephanie Troncale has a degree in Art History and has worked in the art market for more than 10 years. Her career has taken her to Paris, the South of France (Nice, St Paul de Vence, Eze Village), and to New York City where she worked as an auction house assistant, gallery assistant, art dealer, artist assistant, and as an archivist. She has organized exhibitions, art fairs, designed modern and contemporary art auction catalogues, in addition to selling artwork. In New York City Troncale worked as an archivist to authenticate works from an internationally known artist, and worked with private collectors, museum and gallery directors, and auctions houses.

The Haywood County Arts Council’s Gallery 86 exhibition, The World Around Us, purposefully coincides with the international focus on Western North Carolina during Folkmoot USA’s celebration of international folk dance and music from July 21-July 31 where dancers and musicians from throughout the world travel to Waynesville for two weeks of traditional performances. Folkmoot USA’s “Parade of Nations” on Friday, July 22, and the Haywood County Arts Council’s “International Festival Day” street fair on July 30, both in Downtown Waynesville, are highlights of the two-week celebration. For more information visit (

The mission of the Haywood County Arts Council is to build partnerships that promote art and artists, explore new cultural opportunities, and preserve mountain artistic heritage.

This project was supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division or the Department of Cultural Resources. The mission of the North Carolina Arts Council is to make North Carolina a better state through the arts. The council nurtures and supports excellence in the arts, and provides opportunities for every North Carolinian to experience the arts. A division of the Department of Cultural Resources, the Arts Council serves as a catalyst for the development of arts organizations and facilities throughout North Carolina with grant funding and technical assistance.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Council at 828/452-0593 or visit (

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