Feature Articles
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July Issue 2010

Somerhill Gallery in Durham, NC, Offers Group Exhibition

The Somerhill Gallery, located in the Venable Center in Durham, NC, is presenting a group exhibit entitled, New Faces Exhibition, featuring recent works by painter Don Mertz, constructionist David McCarthy, ceramist Vicki Grant and painter Kirsten Moran. The exhibition is on view through July 12, 2010.

Don Mertz, who moved to Raleigh, NC, from New York City comments, "Painting is a demanding passion for me and a good reason to enjoy a good cigar, a single malt scotch and a Willie Nelson CD." He attempts to capture the fascination, spontaneity, messiness, freedom and joy of discovery that go into a child's art and combine that with an adult sense of composition, color, line and space. "There are layers of color, where a variety of lines and shapes appear, disappear and re-appear juxtaposed with one where the paint may be thickly applied, juicy and often monochromatic. Geometric shapes are found next to, around or within fields more expressionistic, lyrical and kinetic. My paintings are the result of my mood, memories, sins, thoughts, and the music I am listening to or what I had for lunch - a creation out of my mind."

David McCarthy, who recently moved to Chapel Hill, NC, from the southwest, creates vibrantly colorful, systematically composed constructions. His work combines carved and inlayed wood, organic materials, and woven elements into compositions reminiscent of abstract expressionist images. McCarthy has developed a unique personal style through more than 15 years of experimentation with the elements of his craft that are carefully crafted. They make use of a wide range of organic elements, and they are striking in color and in form. The work combines laminated woodwork, papermaking techniques, carved and woven elements, feathers, bones, porcupine quills and other natural objects into enigmatic compositions that are infused with symbolism.

Vicki Grant, whose artwork is fired and colored clay, graduated from the University of Maryland, School of Architecture and has practiced architecture for over 25 years. The focus of her ceramic work has been towards creating a visual experience that engages the viewer both intellectually and emotionally. "I have always felt that the most amazing forms, structure, color and textures are found within nature and that exposure to these elements have been my inspiration and teacher. Porcupine quills, fossils, stones, feathers, wood and shells are incorporated into the pieces, enriching the visual and intellectual experience. Each wall sculpture, while beautiful in its own right, appears to come alive as the light forms the interaction with each element, mesmerizing the viewer as if in a dream," say Grant.

Kirsten Moran was born and raised in Massachusetts where she discovered a love of drawing and picture making in grade school. She received her BFA in painting and BA in cinema from Binghamton University in the early 90s and now lives in Charleston, SC, where she continues to study classical figure; drawing and painting women. Moran says, "I view painting as a means to connect with the collective human spirit through the feminine perspective. The soul and the earth, both feminine, inform the female subject and the archetypical themes of living as a woman in the world. Each painting conveys a different aspect of that spirit: desolation, joy, surrender, beauty, awe. The context is subtle. The spare use of environment invites the viewer to interpret for themselves."

Gallery director, Joe Rowand, recently commented, "This exhibition is all about synchronicity, about the unexpected convergence's of introductions to four artists new to Somerhill Gallery. Each chance meeting involved the introductions by a friend of the gallery, making an unexpected but fortuitous introduction. The results of which became Somerhill's New Faces Exhibition."

For further info check our NC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 919/688-8868 or visit (www.somerhill.com).

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